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Author of "Empire and Armament," "The Long Arm of Lee," 

"The Call of the Republic," "The Great Crusade," 

"The Red Man In the New World Drama," etc. 



Preface xix 

Chapter I 

Woodrow Wilson's Early Education and The Evolution of 

His Poltical Philosophy 1 

Chapter II 

Wilson Studies Law. Hostile to the Southern Political 
Tradition. He Attempts Practice in Atlanta. Enters 
Johns Hopkins. Publishes Congressional Govern 
ment. Enters the Faculty of Bryn Mawr. Goes to 
Wesleyan. Deems Both Parties Moribund. Publishes 
The State, and Division and Reunion. Denies South 
ern Origin, and Claims to be a Federalist. Seeks 
to Create a Third Party. The Rise of Anarchy and 
Socialism. Carnegie and Bryce Versus Proudhon and 
Kropotkin. Populism. Bryanism. William of Hohen- 
zollern Succeeds to the Throne of Germany. Fall of 
Bismarck 19 

Chapter III 

Bryan and Free Silver. Marburg at Oxford. The Rise of 
Japan. Wilson Takes Up Writing History for Po 
litical Purposes. His George Washington. Marburg 
and "The World's Money Problem." Bryan Defeated. 
"Despairing Democracy." The Spanish-American 
War and American Imperialism 32 

Chapter IV 

The War with Spain and the End of American Isolation. Imperialism 
Rampant. Marburg Plans to Enforce Peace. The First Hague Peace 
Conference. The Boer War. "The United States of Europe" 
Proposed. The 

Principle of International Cooperation Applied in China. 
Marburg's Theory of Expansion. Bryan as the "Apostle of Peace." 
Wilson Contemplates Attending Heidelberg with Marburg. 
Cleveland Conies to Princeton. Wilson Elected President of 
Princeton. 40 

Chapter V 

Harvey's Plan to Make Wilson President. Carnegie Do 
nates the Peace Palace. The Lake Mohonk Peace 
Conference. The Principle of Arbitration Established. 
The South Hostile to Wilson. The Position of Japan. 
Harvey Proclaims Wilson as the Democratic Moses. 
The Conciliation Internationale and the American As 
sociation for International Conciliation. Roosevelt 
Sends the Fleet to the Orient. The Second Hague 
Peace Conference. The Central American Court of 
Justice. Wilson's Troubles at Princeton. Branded 
"Intellectually Dishonest" by Cleveland. His Dismis 
sal Demanded. Homer Lea and the Yellow Peril. 
Fearful of War and Still Hoping for a Third Party, 
Wilson Hesitates to Commit Himself to the Demo 
cratic "Boss" of New Jersey. The American Society 
for Judicial Settlement of International Disputes. Taft 
Advocates a World Court. Roosevelt and Knox Pro 
pose a League to Enforce Peace. Wilson Elected 
Governor 57 

Chapter VI 

The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Wilson Turns on 
the New Jersey Bosses. Bryan Brands Wilson "an Autocrat." 
McCombs Becomes Wilson's Campaign Manager. Enter Colonel 
House, Exponent of Revolution. The Mexican Revolution. House 
Meets Wilson and Captivates Him. Enter also Houston. The 
Conversion of Wilson Begins. Harvey Dropped by Wilson. 
Watterson Infuriated, Sets the South Against Wilson. Morgenthau, 
Aspirant for Secretary of the Treasury, Becomes Chairman of 
Wilson's Finance Committee. McAdoo Joins Wilson. Mexico and 
the Haldane Commission. Marburg Publishes 


The Backward Nation. House Predicts the Nomina 
tion of Bryan. Wilson Seeks to Withdraw his Candi 
dacy. The Duplicity of House. Wilson Nominated 
by The "Bosses." 77 

Chapter VII 

Wilson Attributes His Nominaton to Providence. Demo 
cratic Chaos. McCombs Versus the McAdoo-Tumulty 
Cabal. House's Tour of Europe. Returning, He Es 
tablishes a Complete Ascendency Over Wilson. They 
Plan to Detach Britain from Japan by Repealing the 
Panama Tolls Exemption Act. House Dictates the 
Appointment of the "Apostle of Peace" as Secretary of 
State. Wilson Elected. House Becomes "Silent Part 
ner." The National Committee Ignored in the Selec 
tion of the Cabinet. House Confers with the Bankers 
on the Currency and Tariff. Wilson and House Pub 
lish The New Freedom, and Philip Dru: Admini 
strator 100 



(March 4, 1913— August 1, 1914) 

Chapter VIII 

The Significance of Wilson's Inaugural Address, Indi 
eating that He is to be His Own Secretary of State. 
The "Silent Partner." General Wood Retained as 
Chief of Staff. Scott Promoted and Ordered to Wash 
ington as Woods Prospective Successor 119 

Chapter IX 

Wilson Develops His Foreign Policy. Mexico and Japan. "Delenda est 
Huerta." Europe Recognizes Huerta. Wilson Indicates His 
Intention of Securing a Repeal of the Panama Tolls Exemption 
Act. Much Alarmed about Japan. Scott Counsels Him Against 
Philippine Independence and Bryan's Plan to Turn the Islands 


Over to Japan. The Ambassadorial Staff Completed. Speyer, 
Bernstorff and House Confer. The Lind Mission and Open 
Interference in Mexican Affairs. . . 124 

Chapter X 

House's First Super-Ambassadorial Mission. Secretly Con 
fers with Sir Edward Grey. Discusses the Repeal of 
the Panama Tolls Exemption Act and the Formation 
of a League of Nations. Seeks the Aid of the British 
Government to Prevent War with Japan. Wilson 
Urges United States Nationals to Leave Mexico. Fear 
ful of Japan, He Notifies Congress of His Intention to 
Mobilize the Armed Forces on the Border. Page Urges 
an Anglo-American Alliance. Bryan Threatens to 
Resign 137 

Chapter XI 

Sir William Tyrrell's Mission to Washington. The Secret 
Anglo-American Accord. Page Becomes Suspicious of 
House. Expounds Democracy to Wilson. Wilson's 
First Annual Message to Congress. House and Houston 
Confer with Tyrrell and Benjamin Ide Wheeler. Wil 
son Agrees to Send House to Berlin in the Summer to 
Appeal to the Kaiser Over the Head of Von Tirpitz 
and the Naval Party. Suddenly Calls on Congress to 
Repeal the Panama Tolls Exemption Act 146 

Chapter XII 

Reactions to Wilson's Message to Congress and His Appeal for the 
Repeal of The Panama Tolls Exemption Act. The Tampico, 
Ypringa, and Vera Cruz Incidents. Confusion Confounded. The 
Constitution Violated. War in Fact. Mediation by the ABC 
Powers. Wilson Attempts to Explain His Mexican Policy. 

Chapter XIII 

Taft Publishes His The United States and Peace. The Super- 
Ambassador Leaves for Germany on the "Great 


Adventure." Interviews the Kaiser. The Repeal of 
the Panama Tolls Exemption Act. Anglo-American 
Friendship Restored. Serajevo and the Collapse of the 
"Great Adventure." 165 




(August 1, 1914— April 6, 1917) 

Chapter XIV 

Austria-Hungary Declares War on Serbia. Herrick and 
Bryan Urge Mediation upon Wilson. Obedient to the 
Counsel of the Internationalists, Wilson Resorts to a 
Subterfuge. "Europe at Armageddon." Harvey, Eliot, 
and Herrick. Bernstorff and Gerard 183 

Chapter XV 

A New Moral Standard. Wilson Appeals for Neutrality 

in Thought as well as in Act 205 

Chapter XVI 

The German Propagandists Arrive. Varying Attitudes 
Toward the War. Wilson's Views. The Jones-Hobson 
Shipping Bill. Marburg Begins to Organize the Inter 
nationalists. Wilson's Prayer for Peace. Page Urges 
Intervention. Complaints about Bryan. British Prop 
aganda Organized. The Hamburg- American Line and 
German Violations of Neutrality. The Belgian Com 
mission. Rustem Bey Dismissed. Roosevelt Urges 
Continued Neutrality 216 

Chapter XVII 

A Failing Administration. The Political Expediency of Wilson's 
Apparent Anti-British Attitude. Page Protests. Reconciliation with 
Harvey. Harvey Urges Wilson to Strike for Peace. Wilson 
Opposes Military Pre- 


paredness. Further Efforts to Deceive Germany. House 
Betrays Page. "In the Supreme Court of Civilization." 
A Democratic Defeat 232 

Chapter XVIII 

The Internationalists Demand Preparedness. Wheels 
Within Wheels. House Secretly Cooperates with The 
League to Enforce Peace to Force Wilson's Hand. The 
Munitions Trade. Page Reprimanded 244 

Chapter XIX 

Wilson's Second Annual Message. Proclaims America the 
Champion of Peace. Advocates a Great Merchant Ma 
rine in Order Better to Serve Mankind Upon the 
Coming of Peace. Houston Critical. The General 
Effect 252 

Chapter XX 

Wood Reprimanded. The Gardiner "Preparedness Bill." 
A New German Proposal. Wilson Ready to Proceed 
with the Formation of a League of Nations 258 

Chapter XXI 

Roosevelt and Beck. Their Great Books. Wilson Learns 
of Germany's Submarine Plans. Bryan Threatens to 
Visit Europe as Mediator. Forestalled by Wilson. 
Marburg Demands a Change of Policy. House's so- 
called Peace Quest or Third Mission. The Law of 
Nations Violated by the Lusitania to Protect the 
American Super-Ambassador 262 

Chapter XXII 

"Strict Accountability" and Double Dealings. The American Legion. 
The Defeat of the "Gardiner Preparedness Bill." A Threatened 
Break with Garrison. . . 271 

Chapter XXIII page 

"The Freedom of the Seas." Proposed by House to Bri 
tain and Germany as a Solution. The Failure of 
House's Third Mission. The German Submarine 
Blockade Continues. German Opinions of Wilson 
and Bryan 281 

Chapter XXIV 

The League to Enforce Peace Defied by Germany. Mar 
burg Revises his Program. Wilson Accepts His Amend 
ments and Openly Espouses International Cooperation. 
"America First" for the Sake of Humanity 288 

Chapter XXV 

Reaping the Whirlwind. The Destruction of the Lusi- 
tania. The Righteous Wrath of the Nation. Wilson's 
Great Opportunity 298 

Chapter XXVI 

Fate Favors Wilson Again. The Secret Dealings of Wilson 
and Bryan with Bernstorff. "Too Proud to Fight." 
The Lusitania Note. Bryan's Objection and His Ex 
traordinary Proposal 305 

Chapter XXVII 

More Secret Diplomacy. The Evil Machinations of Bryan 
Continue. He Oversteps and is Detected by Gerard 
and House. In Wilson's Power at Last 324 

Chapter XXVIII 

The Modern Lysistratans Assemble at The Hague. Mar 
burg and House Undertake to Foil Bryan and the 
Lysistratans. Swapping Horses in Mexico. The Ger 
man Reply and Wilson's Rejoinder 334 

Chapter XXIX 

The Secret of Bryan's Resignation. Houston, the Inter 

nationalist, in the Cabinet, Takes the Lead 348 


Chapter XXX 

With Political Aspirations, Wood Organizes the Citizens 
Military Training Camp to Circumvent the Orders of 
the War Department. The Super- Ambassador Re 
turns. The League to Enforce Peace Organized in the 
"City of Brotherly Love." Lansing Becomes Secretary 
of State. The Militarists Compelled by Wilson and 
the Internationalists to Continue the War. A Battle 
of Ink and Paper. Delayed Action Tides Over the 
Lusitania Crisis 356 

Chapter XXXI 

The Plattsburg Camp a Great Success. Bryan Again Proposes to Visit 
Europe. Grey Finally Rejects the "Freedom of the Seas." The 
German Conspirators Intimidate Wilson. Villa and the Arabic 
incident. Page and Gerard Give Warnings Again. The 
Internationalists Demand a Change of Policy. Roosevelt at Platts- 
burg. Wood Reprimanded Again. An Apparent Victory for 
Wilson. Von Tirpitz Forces the Issue Between the Kaiser and The 
Socialists. Harvey Assails Wilson. 365 

Chapter XXXII 

The Austrian Ambassador Dismissed. The Destruction of 
the Arabic Disavowed by Germany. Wilson Hoping 
for the Collapse of The Central Alliance. His Engage 
ment Announced. The Execution of Edith Cavell. 
Wilson Appeals to The Daughters of The Ameri 
can Revolution to Support Him and Solicits Their 
Sympathy 380 

Chapter XXXIII 

Working with Gompers and Schwab. Wood Becomes a Possible 
Opponent of Wilson. Lansing and Latin-America. Bulgaria Joins 
the Central Allies. Page and Gerard In a "Blue Funk." The 
Lysistratans Capture Henry Ford. Fearful that Germany Will 
Defeat the Entente, Wilson Decides upon a Change of Policy. He 
Contemplates Intervention. Carranza Recognized. Wilson 
Suddenly Advocates "Preparedness." The Pa- 


cifists Protest. The Central Allies Respond by Sinking 

the Ancona. German Sabotage. Wilson Terrified. The 

Entente Allies Reject his Suggestions. Marburg Plans 

to Capture the Socialists 388 

Chapter XXXIV 

The "Peace Argosy" Arrives in Europe. Wilson's Second 
Marriage. Boy-Ed and Von Papen Dismissed. An 
Avowed Candidate for Renomination. Wilson Under 
takes to Retrieve Himself. Efforts Looking to the Re 
organization of the Democratic Party and the Ousting 
of McCombs. Wilson Outlines to the Belligerents the 
Conditions upon which The United States will Enter 
a League of Nations. Hedges on "Preparedness." A 
Threatened Revolt in Congress. Lane's Simile of "Dr. 
Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." 399 

Chapter XXXV 

Marburg and House Visit Europe to Promote a League of Nations. 
Harvey Suspicious. Decides to Visit the Theater of War. Wilson 
Commits Himself to the British Government. Defies the 
Democratic Party. Marburg, Bryce, and The Fabian Socialists 
Organize the League of Nations Society. Wood and Scott Advo- 
cate Compulsory Military Service before Congress, in Wilson's 
Absence. Harvey Returns from Europe. Lansing Raises a New 
Issue with Great Britain. Discredited by Wilson. The "Hay" Bill. 
Garrison Resigns as Secretary of War. Baker Appointed. 
. 408 

Chapter XXXVI 

Wilson Agrees Conditionally to Intervene on the Side of 
the Allies. The House -Grey Memorandum of Febru 
ary 22, 1916. House's Futile Visit to Germany and 
France. Returns to Washington. The Congressional 
Revolt Crushed 427 

Chapter XXXVII 

Lane Organizes the Department of the Interior Behind Wilson. 
Marburg's Success Alarms Von Tirpitz and 


his Party. Villa and Pershing. The Destruction of the Sussex. 
House and Grey Demand Action. Wilson Between Two Fires. The 
Influence of Wood's Presidential Boom. Wilson Notifies Grey of 
His Intention to Intervene. Marburg Prevents Intervention. 
. . 438 

Chapter XXXVIII 
The Sussex Note. The Obregon Conference. Scott Saves 
Pershing. McCombs Tenders his Resignation. Assails 
Wilson for the Violation of his "One Term" Pledge. 
A Crisis in the War. Germany Accedes to Wilson's 
Demand with Reservations. "He Kept Us Out of 
War." The New Shipping Bill 448 

Chapter XXXIX 
Marburg Assembles the Internationalists in Washington. 
Wilson, Taft, Lodge, Baker, Marburg and Others Ad 
dress the League to Enforce Peace. The Adverse Effect 
Upon the Allies of Wilson's Address 459 

Chapter XL 

Wilson Aggrieved by The Tongue of Scandal. The Na 
tional Defense Act of June 3, 1916. Pershing Recalled. 
Wilson Writes His Own Platform. "To Hell with the 
Platform — He Kept Us Out of War." Wilson and 
Hughes Nominated. McCombs Replaced as Party 
Chairman by McCormick 469 

Chapter XLI 

Pershing Assailed by the United Mexicans. A New Mobi 
lization. Page Writes an Historic Letter Pleading 
for Democracy and an English Speaking Union. Wood 
Doomed. Beck's Great Success in Europe. The 
Deutschland Appears in America 480 

Chapter XLII 

Wilson's Remarkable Skill as a Politician. Gompers and The 
Threatened Railroad Strike. The Mexican-American Joint 
Commission. Wilson Captures Organized Labor with the Eight- 
Hour Law. Congress Authorizes Mediation and Endorses a League 
of Nations. Page's Picture of Wilson and Washington. 


Chapter XLIII page 

Germany Seeks an Armistice. The House-Bernstorff Intrigue 
Continues. A New German Scheme. Gerard Ordered Home. Page 
Confers with Wilson at Last. Wilson's Increasing Hostility to the 
Entente Cause. 503 

Chapter XLIV 

Lane and the Mexican Commission. Harvey at Last 
Abandons Wilson. Gerard Returns. Wilson Accepts 
the Kaiser's Proposal. Further German Efforts to In 
timidate America 511 

Chapter XLV 

Wilson Reelected. The Election Analyzed. The Zionist 

Bargain 519 

Chapter XLVI 

Page Tenders His Resignation and Urges Immediate In 
tervention. The Fall of Asquith and Grey. Lloyd 
George and the New British Government Mistrust 
Wilson. The German Peace Offer. Britain Refuses to 
"Play the Game" with Wilson 529 

Chapter XLVII 

Wilson's Offer of Mediation Insults the Allies. Bryce and The League 
of Nations Society of England Protest against Wilson's Course. 
The Roosevelt Division. . 544 

Chapter XL VIII 

Wilson Turns Away from House. The Russian Situation. 
Germany's Decision to Resume Unrestricted Subma 
rine Warfare. The Mexican Commission Disperses. 
Hoover Undertakes to Advise Wilson. The Wilson- 
Stone Plan to Prevent Intervention. "Peace Without 
Victory" and another Hornet's Nest 554 

Chapter XLIX 

The Allies Unmoved. The League of Nations Society of England 
Protests. The Mailed Gauntlet. Wilson 


Clutching at Straws. The Internationalists Threaten 
to Publish the Zimmermann Telegram unless Diplo 
matic Negotiations are Secured 575 

Chapter L 

The New York Times Threatens to Abandon Wilson. 
Diplomatic Relations with Germany Severed at Last. 
Bernstorff Departs 582 

Chapter LI 

The Cabinet Demands the Arming of American Merchant 
Vessels. Harvey Assails Wilson's Military Policy. The 
Council of National Defense Formed. "Morpheus and 
Mars." The Principle of Compulsory Military Service 
Enforced upon Wilson 587 

Chapter LII 

The Outbreak of the Russian Revolution. Compelled to 
Act, Wilson Shifts the Responsibility for the Arming 
of Merchant Ships. The Publication of the Zimmer 
mann Note. Wilson Refuses to Call an Extra Session 
of Congress. The Stone -LaFollette Filibuster. Wilson's 
Second Inaugural. He Turns on Stone, and Assails 
the "Wilful Few." 596 

Chapter LIII 

Austria Stands Firm. The "Overt Act." "Armed Neu 
trality." A Revulsion of Popular Feeling. Conscrip 
tion Opposed by Wilson and Baker. Wilson and 
Baker Overruled by the Council of National Defense. 
Wood Disposed of. The League to Enforce Peace De 
mands Intervention Through House. Houston and Al 
derman. Wilson Overborne at Last 609 

Chapter LIV 

The Voice of The Nation and The Declaration of War. 627 

Appendices A, B, C 649 

Bibliography 661 

Index 669 



AT THE TIME when the Publishers were first privileged, some 
two years ago, to read the rough draft of Colonel Wise's 
monumental study of Wilson, the work was plentifully 
documented with footnotes — so much so as to make 
consecutive reading difficult. While there are cases where this is 
necessary and unavoidable, we believed that the contemporary 
importance to a wide public of the author's message, made the 
use of such elaborate documentation inadvisable. At our 
suggestion — for which we assume complete responsibility — in 
order to make reading easy, and to keep the price a popular one, 
the author has confined himself to a bibliography, with textual 
reference by numbers to the works therein contained. 

As some justification of our attitude, we quote a delightful 
paragraph from the Preface to The Road to Xanadu: "There are 
those who find the notes in a book more interesting than the 
text. I often do myself. But for the sake of others otherwise 
inclined, the notes in this book are, for the most part, securely 
kennelled in the rear! There they will molest no incurious 
reader, who is circumspect enough to let them lie. Their objects, 
for those who care to turn to them, are two: to make possible the 
verification of all statements which rest in any way upon 
authority; and to sketch in, through details which would have 
violated the unity of an ordered treatment, the complex and 
often vividly human background. . . . But the text may be read, 
by those who will, as if the notes did not exist. " 

We have here gone a step further than Mr. Lowes, omitted 
the notes altogether, and referred merely to the author's sources. 
We believe both students and public will, in this case, consider 
the action justified by the reasons cited above. 



OODROW WILSON. A name to conjure with! Still evoking the 
most diverse passions, the mere mention of it stirs the 
memory of more than a president. At once it summons before 
the mind's eye the countless tragic events making up the great 
drama in which Woodrow Wilson played a leading role. Nor 
has the common accord among his biographers that, 
notwithstanding any defects he may have possessed, he was a 
great "humanitarian idealist," served to make him a less 
mystifying figure than he appeared to many of his 

"Great men are by nature what they are, never reminding us 
of others — bundles of relations, knots of roots, their flower and 
fruitage is the world." Ignoring the truth couched by Emerson in 
these words, biographers often attempt to portray their subjects 
without relating them to the realities of the world about them. 
On the other hand, it is believed that only the audience of 
posterity may see an actor on the stage of history as he really 
was. So the idea prevails that it is still too soon to write a story 
of Woodrow Wilson's life with even approximate truth. This 
may be true as to some aspects, but it is not true with respect to 
the convictions and the motives behind the public expressions 
and acts, with which, alone, this work attempts to deal. 

The author is aware, of course, that whenever an industrious 
seeker for truth pieces together the dominoes of fact to form a 
pattern unlike the popular misconception, partisans posing as 
historians, will cry out in self-defense: "This is not history — it's 
sheer sensational romance!" 

But the author has paid full regard to the words of Emerson. 
He has made the world the mise en scene of the great mystery 
play here presented. The dramatis personae include not merely 
those with whom the leading actor was 


known to be associated, but the countless intellectuals, pub- 
licists, professors, statesmen, politicians, and political agents of 
this interest or that, who contributed directly, indirectly, and 
often secretly, to the action of the play. Thus he has made use 
not only of the six political works and the numerous articles and 
essays in which President Wilson wrote his own lines, but he 
has brought upon the stage to speak for themselves the three 
men who did most to make Wilson President of the United 
States — Harvey, Page and Mc-Combs. Along with them 
appears Edward M. House, often erroneously spoken of as the 
President's "silent partner," while characterized by Wilson 
himself as his "alter ego"; and a host of other actors, some with 
minor parts, but all, like those named above, allowed to write 
their own lines. Among them are Thomas R. Marshall, Vice 
President during both of Wilson's administrations; seven 
members of his Cabinet — Lansing, Houston, McAdoo, Lane, 
Daniels, Baker, and Redfield; his Counsellor of State, John 
Bassett Moore; six of his principal foreign representatives — 
Walter Hines Page, Gerard, Herrick, Marye, Marburg and 
Morgenthau; Gibson, Counsellor of the Embassy in Belgium; 
O'Shaugh-nessy, in Mexico; four of his Chiefs-of-Staff — Wood, 
Scott, Bliss and March; the generals who commanded the 
American Expeditionary Force and the Army of Occupation, re- 
spectively — Pershing and Allen; White, who served with him at 
the Versailles Peace Conference; two of his self-appointed and 
specially privileged contemporary historians — Lawrence and 
Baker; and William Bayard Hale, who was, for a time, his 
personal friend and literary confidant. 

Then there are the contemporary letters and despatches of 
the three most important foreign ambassadors to Washington 
during the Wilson regime — Cecil Spring-Rice, Jus-serand, and 
Bernstorff. We cannot be misled by their official 
correspondence, when it is examined along with the writings or 
published statements of Bryan, Roosevelt, Taft, Knox, Root, 
Choate, Bacon, Hughes, Lodge, Borah, Coolidge, Carnegie, 
Butler, Beck, Abbott, Eliot, Lowell, Wheeler, Jordan, Angell, 
Holt, Gompers, Ford, Jane Addams and Viereck, in America; 
of Asquith, Winston 


Churchill, Lloyd-George, Lords Curzon, Grey, Roberts, 
Northcliffe, and Beaverbrook, Viscounts Haldane and Bryce, 
Field Marshals Wilson and Robertson, Lawrence, Frederick 
Harrison, Gilbert Parker, Plunkett, Waechter, Nicolson, 
Wiseman, Stead, Steed, Gremer, Shaw, Wells, and Reppington 
in England; of Clemenceau, Foch, Petain, Briand, Millerand, 
Poincare, Caillaux, Belloc, Paleologue, and Tardieu in France; 
of the Kaiser, Prince Von Bulow, Prince Lichnowsky, Prince 
Max of Baden, Von Tirpitz, Von Hindenburg, Ludendorff, 
Falkenhayn, Moltke, Von der Goltz, Bernhardi, Frobenius, Von 
Sanders, the Countess Eppinghoven, Ballin, Dernburg, and 
Ludwig in Germany; Count Witte, Baron Rosen, the Grand 
Duchess Marie, Princess Cantacuzene, Prince Yussoupoff, 
Brasol, Malevsky-Malevitch, Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin in 
Russia; Cardinal Mercier in Belgium; Bela Kun, Counts 
Czernin and Karolyi in Austria- Hungary; Orlando, Baron 
Sonnino, d'Annunzio, and Mussolini in Italy; Take Jonescu and 
Queen Marie in Roumania; Ferrara in Cuba; and the pro- 
nunciamentos of the Vatican. 

Surely this is an amazing array of material! But as if it were 
not enough, Sir Gilbert Parker, Frobenius, Yardley, Johnson, 
Aston, Russell, Jones, Hollister, Goricar and Stowe have left 
few secrets of importance in the Back Chambers of the world's 
chancelleries. Indeed, so full, so rich is the historical material 
already available to the seeker after truth that, when the facts 
are assembled, the truth spells itself out so clearly that no room 
is left for doubt as to Wilson's convictions and motives. As the 
many varying and often conflicting influences that were brought 
to bear upon him, disclose themselves, the mystery surrounding 
him will be dissipated. It will be evident that, like most men 
who have occupied posts of real importance, he has not only 
been credited with imaginary virtues, but charged with a guilt 
that others must share. 

Sensational? Ah yes! It is perhaps not an exaggeration to 
say that the fertile imaginations of Dumas, Victor Hugo, 
Balzac, Anthony Hope, Ryder Haggard, Jules Verne, Op- 
penheim and Mary Roberts Rinehart together could have 


conceived of nothing more inherently sensational than the truth 
about Woodrow Wilson. This, however, does not make the vast 
experience of this extraordinary man, bitter though it may have 
been, less fruitful of lessons for the leaders of thought who, in 
the present crisis of civilization, grope in a wilderness of 
uncertainty. These are lessons the so-called statesmen who 
stagger hopelessly under the burden of countless materialistic 
"isms" and "ologies," may well pause and consider. 

In conclusion, the author wishes to acknowledge his in- 
debtedness to his friend, the late James M. Beck, who not only 
read the manuscript in its formative state, but had planned to 
write an introduction to the work. He also wishes to express his 
thanks to Col. Peter Malevsky-Malevitch, the distinguished 
commander of the 1st Pre-obrazhensky Guards during the 
World War, and author of Russia— U.S. S.R., who, having read 
the manuscript from the Russian point of view, made many 
valuable suggestions; and to Dr. Herbert Putnam and his 
assistants who made research in the Library of Congress both 
easy and delightful. 

Jennings C. Wise. 
New York, October 4, 1937. 



Woodrow Wilson's Early Education and The Evolution of His 
Political Philosophy 

WHEN, ON MARCH 30, 1856, the Treaty of Paris, 
bringing to an end the Crimean War, was signed, little 
did the assembled diplomats suspect that there had 
been born in Staunton, Virginia, just nine days before, a future 
President who would, in later years, exert a powerful influence 
upon the destiny of Europe. 

It was, in truth, a momentous year. For while a momentary 
peace had been established in Europe, the violence provoked in 
Kansas by a murderous band of Free-Soilers led by the fanatic 
John Brown, had merely been suspended. Nevertheless, the 
saner elements of both the North and South were hoping that 
the election of James Buchanan in the Autumn might avert a 
fratricidal war. 

Having been despatched to the West in command of a 
newly formed regiment to assist in preventing further disorders 
there, Colonel Robert E. Lee, a Virginian by birth, well 
expressed the sentiments of a majority of his people. 
Condemning the institution of slavery, he pointed out that its 
greatest evil was the harm it did to the master race. Upon 
learning that Buchanan was elected, he fervently thanked God 
that the Republic of Washington had been preserved.* 

Doubtless Dr. Thomas Wilson, the father of the twenty- 
eighth president at this time swaddled in his crib, was equally 
grateful. A much respected preacher-pedagogue, and, like his 
wife, a native of Ohio, he had but lately removed with her to 
Staunton. Both of Scotch-Irish blood, they were typical of the 
more highly educated people of the 

* Life and Letters of Robert E. Lee, by R. E. Lee, Jr. 


Middle West. A good woman and a devoted wife, the lineage of 
Mrs. Wilson was more aristocratic in the Virginian sense than 
that of her husband. Moreover, her father had been a far more 
distinguished divine. Therefore, in order to preserve her family 
name, the child was christened Thomas Woodrow Wilson. 
Although none of the forebears of Dr. Wilson and his wife were 
of Southern origin, they were both ardent Southern 
sympathizers. Undoubtedly the differences which had arisen on 
account of this between them and their Ohio kinsmen, had 
much to do with their removal to Virginia. If, however, the mi- 
grants expected to find a more congenial atmosphere in 
Staunton, they were disappointed. For the truth is the people of 
the Shenandoah Valley, at the head of which Staunton is 
located, were much more like those of Ohio than like the 
Virginians beyond the Blue Ridge. In the main Scotch-Irish 
Presbyterians and German Baptists, their forebears had 
migrated from Pennsylvania during the half century preceding 
the Revolution. Equally thrifty, the two groups had not yet 
merged to any great extent, nor had they, because of strong 
racial and religious differences, absorbed much of the older 
colonial blood of the state. 

Socially, perhaps, "the Valley" was as different from 
Piedmont and Tidewater Virginia, as the Highlands are from the 
Lowlands of Scotland. Possessing few slaves, the purely 
agricultural people of "the Valley" were dependent on grazing 
and their vast crops of grain, while their limited commerce was 
almost wholly with the regions to the North and West. On the 
other hand, the staple crops of Piedmont and Tidewater 
Virginia, were tobacco and cotton, and here the dominant class 
were Episcopalians, who still clung to the social traditions of 
colonial days. Strongly Puritanical, neither the Scottish nor 
Rhenish peoples of "the Valley" liked Episcopalians. The less 
they saw of them, the better they were pleased. 

When the Wilsons arrived in Staunton, Virginia was still the 
richest and most populous state in the Union. Like the Cotton 
States, the Old Dominion still smarted under the outrages 
recently perpetrated by John Brown, with the 


obvious encouragement of Abolitionists in the North. In 
reaction to these excesses, and to the ceaseless propaganda of 
which Uncle Tom's Cabin was a sample, even the people of the 
Valley, long notable for their devotion to the Republic of 
Washington, had begun to turn against the Whig party. 
Nevertheless, the old Whig sentiment was still sufficiently 
strong in 1855 to make the gubernatorial campaign of that year 
one of the bitterest in history. "I have met the Black Knight 
with his vizor down, and his lance and shield are broken." So 
cried Henry A. Wise, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate, 
on the eve of his unexpected election. In these words, Virginia 
sounded the death knell of the American or so-called Know- 
Nothing party, a secret organization. In vain its leaders had 
sought to gain control of Congress through a combination of na- 
tivist, anti-Catholic, abolitionist, and Whig sentiment. With 
decisive might the Old Dominion, true to her traditions of 
religious freedom, had struck at the bigotry threatening to 
destroy the democratic institutions of the country. 

But the "Black Knight" himself had not been destroyed, 
only his weapons of 1855 had been broken. 

The greatest evil in introducing religion into politics is, 
perhaps, the consequent bitterness that inevitably lingers after 
the polls are closed. Certainly this was true in the case of the 
Know-Nothing campaign of 1855. To be sure, the Democratic 
party had upheld the ideal of Jefferson. But the Republican 
party had unfurled its banner. Upon his defeat in 1856, 
Fremont, the Republican candidate, expressed his purpose "to 
shoot the Democratic leaders of Virginia off the political map." 
Wisely abjuring religious appeals, the Republican party openly 
espoused the cause of abolition and the maintenance of the 
Union by force if necessary. Therefore it quickly succeeded the 
hopelessly paralyzed Know-Nothings as the dominant party of 
the North, while drawing the irrepressible issue between the 
major sections of the country. Moreover, notwithstanding the 
avowed purposes of this new party, so strong was the sentiment 
of the non-slave holding element in Western Virginia that many 
people in the Valley at once attached 


themselves to it. Consequently, the Ohio preacher who had 
migrated to Virginia largely on account of his Southern 
sympathies, again found himself at the head of a flock that 
included many persons hostile to his own convictions. In this 
situation there was but one practical thing for him to do — trek 
on Southward. So it was that when "Tommy" was less than two 
and a half years old, his father removed to Augusta, Georgia, in 
the heart of King Cotton's domain, assured that he would find 
there a more sympathetic following. 

Although it is true that Woodrow Wilson was the eighth 
president born in Virginia, he himself not only entertained no 
particular affection for the Old Dominion, but recognized no 
debt whatever to the State of his birth. Well he knew that his 
own case was different from that of William Henry Harrison 
and Zachary Taylor, the sixth and seventh Virginia-born 
presidents, whose intellectual eyes had opened before their 
removal to Indiana and Louisiana, respectively. Manifestly he 
was no more of a Virginian because of the accident of his birth 
in Staunton, than Napoleon Bonaparte was a Turk because he 
was born on a Smyrna rug in his Corsican father's library. 
Therefore, upon his portrait still to be seen in the White House, 
he himself caused to be placed the inscription: "Woodrow 
Wilson, New Jersey." 

Imaginative biographers are wont to seek nuggets of 
wisdom in the youth of their subjects. When found, even the 
smallest of them are apt to be stressed as early signs of an 
unusual character. In the case of Woodrow Wilson, his 
biographers have been hard put to it even to manufacture a 
nugget or two out of certain very well defined characteristics. 
Nor have they been able to construct an idyllic environment for 
his childhood. For notwithstanding their efforts, it is impossible 
to convert the home of a poor Presbyterian preacher, fresh from 
the frontier and endowed with strong opinion that often led to 
conflict with his neighbors, into a warm and generous 
playground for a child. 

In fact Dr. Wilson's home in Augusta seems to have been 
typically austere and cold, with no ameliorating influ- 


ences beyond the undoubted affection and solicitude of kindly 
parents. The parsonage was a small frame affair. The furniture 
was upholstered with black haircloth. There were dark-framed 
sombre religious engravings on the wall, rag rugs on the floor, 
and a small upright organ in the parlor, where cold china 
ornaments adorned the mantle and tables. The study was 
cluttered with musty books. A free negro woman did the 
household chores. Now and then there was a visitor for whom, 
except on Sunday, the shades were raised. Such appears to have 
been the characteristically gloomy aspect of the parson's home. 

Physically unrobust from the first, "Tommy" was early 
deemed by both his father and mother, introspective, self- 
centered, excessively sensitive, more than ordinarily self- 
conscious. Because he was unresponsive to the usual methods 
of training and education, and displayed a marked restiveness 
under the will of others, he was subject to a good deal of 
spoiling by his elders. Eager to overcome his backwardness 
both physically and mentally, far from seeing in him a paragon 
of precocity, they were not happy over "Tommy" when he first 
began to take notice of his surroundings. 

His earliest memories were those of the strangers among 
whom his parents had settled but recently, and of the ceaseless 
discussion by his father of sectional politics of the most bitter 
character. The John Brown Raid of 1859 had made good the 
threat of Fremont. Until now the Democratic leader who had 
overthrown the "Know-Nothings" had been making a strong 
bid for Northern support as a champion of union, and for that of 
the South as an uncompromising exponent of States Rights. 
Everywhere he had been recognized as a possible successor to 
the timid Buchanan. Just as expected by the Abolitionists, he 
had not hesitated, however, to uphold the majesty of Virginia 
by the trial and execution of John Brown. This and the 
unqualified approval of his course by every Southern leader, 
had ended all chance of a Democratic victory in 1860. Dr. 
Wilson like all his neighbors now deemed the secession of 
Georgia inevitable. 


In his fifth year, the boy heard everyone talking about 
President Davis and the Confederacy that had been formed, 
with its capital at Montgomery. "Jeff Davis will soon put Old 
Abe in his place. " It was not long before he saw a large number 
of young men marching off, after much parading amid the 
jubilant blare of trumpets, to engage in the Sumter affair. On 
the lips of everybody around him were the words "Damn 
Yankees." Clad in red shirts, armed with bowie knives and 
muskets, the soldiers, he was told, were going off to settle an 
old score of injustice, to pay "Old Abe" and his "Damn 
Yankees" back for the John Brown outrage. The "Yankees" 
would not fight long. "One good Georgian with a cornstalk 
could chase a dozen of them." Soon the victors would return. 
The glorification over the seizure of Fort Sumter followed. 
Even the large negro population of Augusta seemed overjoyed. 
How his father did despise "Old Abe"! The lad heard much to 
lead him to believe that Lincoln was a veritable baboon of a 

In the Spring of 1861, there was in Augusta a thriving 
arsenal that seethed with activity. Before the Winter came, 
however, there were teeming hospitals. During the months of 
disillusionment that followed, Dr. Wilson became more and 
more bitter. It had never been his habit to rely solely upon local 
or even American periodicals for his knowledge of affairs. So 
intensely interested was he in political events, that he had long 
been wont to relieve the daily routine of a highly religious 
household by reading aloud to his wife of an evening the 
Edinburgh Review. Most of the hard pressed people of the 
South, cut off as they soon were from the outer world by the 
Federal blockade, knew little about what was taking place 
beyond their ever-contracting frontiers. Nevertheless the 
Edinburgh Review continued to find its way to Doctor Wilson's 
library. As the war progressed, the boy found the great events 
with which it dealt, far more interesting than the Scriptures. 
Naturally these nightly political readings, with the running 
comments of his father, not only tended to divert his mind from 
religious teachings but developed in him a taste for politics. 
Long before the wreck of Southern manhood began to drift 


homeward, he had found that his homeland had no monopoly of 
fratricidal strife. The great religious upheaval in India, and the 
Crimean War, had been followed quickly by the Franco- 
Austrian War. Now there was a revolution going on in Mexico. 
So inhumane had warfare become by 1863 that, pursuant to the 
plea of a Swiss, the Red Cross Society was made an 
international institution. This ameliorating influence, however, 
did not allay the passions of men. Karl Marx's second volume 
of Capital had only recently appeared. Before the end of 1864, 
the Universal German Laborers' Union, the Social Democratic 
Party of Germany headed by Liebknecht, and the International 
Workmen's Association had all been formed. While fratricidal 
strife was raging in America, the reactionaries of Europe, to 
offset the rising tide of liberalism, staged the rape of Denmark 
by Prussia. 

Dr. Wilson found it, meanwhile, more and more difficult to 
explain the situation to his son, to say nothing of his flock. All 
he could say was that it was the part of good Christians to 
accept with fortitude the trials that had been imposed upon 
them. Soon occurred the surrenders of Johnston and Lee, and 
the fateful assassination of Lincoln. Why was he, once the bitter 
enemy of "Old Abe," so worried about the latter's death? What 
did General Lee and 'Joe" Johnston mean by saying it was the 
worst calamity that had yet befallen the South? 

Again the Doctor was hard pressed by his son when 
President Davis was captured and imprisoned. As far as the boy 
could see, the whole world was tottering upon its foundations. 
Nothing he had heard seemed to be coming true. 

Yes, these days his father was talking quite differently. The 
Edinburgh Review told how the Latin Monetary Union of 
France, Belgium, Italy, and Switzerland had been formed for 
the purpose of stabilizing the money markets of the world. 
Young Wilson, now nine years old, understood little about 
capitalism and liberalism. Yet, amid the screeching of the 
excited negroes under the influence of the Loyal Legion and the 
Freedmen's Bureau set up in Au- 


gusta following the assassination of "Old Abe," he did not fail 
to hear his father lamenting bitterly the state of anarchy that 
existed elsewhere as well as in the South. He was told, among 
other things, that the old voluntary union of Washington had 
been replaced by a tyrannical federalized state, that the 
"Yankees" not only meant to execute President Davis and 
General Lee, but to give the former slaves the vote, so that they 
could govern the South. They were also going to take all the 
money that was left in the South by passing the "plutocratic 
tariff" they had had in mind ever since they had been blocked 
by Calhoun. 

Such was the situation when a virtual state of warfare broke 
out in Georgia between the Loyal Legion and the Freedmen's 
Bureaus that had been set up there by the carpet baggers and the 
Ku Klux Klan. The hooded night riders were terrifying not 
alone to the negroes. Young Wilson shuddered at sight of them. 
He had been told that President Davis and General Lee were 
martyrs to free government. Yet all about him there were 
suffering, bitterness, hatred, intolerance, lawlessness. To say the 
least, the atmosphere of Augusta was not healthy for a child. 
Ashes and the odor of burning things, even though they be 
figurative, are not stimulating to the growth of the soul. The 
beautiful things that childhood should know, were utterly 
lacking in Augusta. What can there be more calculated to 
harden the heart than a joyless youth? 

It was in truth because the very being of the sensitive lad 
shuddered and shivered at all the unloveliness around him, that 
he clung more closely to his parents, longing unconsciously for 
the sweetness and the warmth that his environment did not 

While the Ku Klux Klan was at the height of its unbridled 
power, the National Grange and the Farmer's Alliance were 
formed. They too, said his father, were super-governments, as 
bad, if possible, as the Loyal Legion. Moreover he deemed it all 
wrong, because eventually it would bring new punishment upon 
the South. In this many of the neighbors did not agree. Even in 
the Doctor's flock there were those who, blinded by passion, 
condoned the 


effort to intimidate the Freedmen. The Doctor, however, did not 
hesitate to express openly the hope that General Forrest and the 
Invisible Empire would, soon or late, upon the demand of 
General Lee and the more enlightened element of the South, 
end the prevailing anarchy. 

But what of the rape of Austria by Prussia and the continued 
war between Germany and France? Who was going to end the 
violence of Bismarck? 

People in Augusta were now condemning even General Lee 
for proposing that the South unite with the better element of the 
North, and elect the much abused Andrew Johnson. "Why does 
General Lee do this? Is he really a traitor to the South?" 

"Oh no, my boy. He has merely recognized the inevitable. 
He wants to see the Republic restored as quickly as possible, in 
order to prevent the passage of the pending Reconstruction 

But General Lee's counsel went unheeded. In vain had 
Sherman tried to help the South. Before the end of 1867, the 
odious Reconstruction Act had been passed by Congress with 
the avowed purpose of punishing the South. More than once Dr. 
Wilson shook his finger at some member of his congregation. "I 
told you so," he was wont to say bitterly. Naturally he was 
becoming unpopular with many of his flock. 

He read Bagehot's great work on the English Constitution, 
and Herbert Spencer's latest political treatise, Man Versus the 
State. Over and over he declared that the English Constitution 
was vastly superior to what remained of the American 
Constitution. According to him, Jefferson as well as 
Washington had been betrayed. The old voluntary Union of the 
States had given way to a federalized state dominated by a 
tyrannical Congress. Apparently he hated Congress even more 
than Bismarck, Napoleon III, or Maximilian. Upon it he 
poured the daily vials of his wrath. 

"Who is Maximilian?" his son would ask. 

"Why, he is the newly created Mexican Emperor." The 
Doctor would then explain that Napoleon, in concert with 
Rome, and as a representative of the Holy Alliance, had 


taken advantage of the civil war in America to defy the Monroe 
Doctrine by setting up a reactionary Empire under French 

"Were the Yankees going to allow this?" 

"No. Bad as they were, they had no idea of tolerating the 
French in Mexico." The boy then learned that after Johnston's 
surrender to the "vile Sherman," the latter had despatched 
Sheridan to the Mexican border preliminary to the ousting of 
the French by force, if need be. Then, marching his army 
straight to Washington, he had paraded it in the full panoply of 
war before the French Ambassador. In the face of his own 
brother — a Senator from Ohio — this same terrible Sherman had 
exclaimed threateningly: "Congress shall not give the negro the 
vote." In the Doctor's eyes there was a look, in the tone of his 
voice a note of approval, even for Sherman. 

Meantime, unaware of Napoleon's purpose, many Con- 
federate veterans had found employment under Maximilian. 
Obedient to the appeals of General Lee, they were now 
returning to their homes. "Yes, General Lee, notwithstanding 
the treatment he has received, is doing all he can to reestablish 
the Union, and save the South from further punishment. There 
are many people down here, however, who will not take his 
advice. They are still determined to try to cure one wrong with 

So the chastened Doctor explained the aftermath of the 
collapse of the Confederacy. He was doing much to crystallize 
certain anti-Southern convictions in the mind of his son. 
Gradually the boy came to believe that both Congress and the 
Southern extremists were wrong. He was glad to hear Grant, in 
1868, call on the French to abandon Maximilian, glad when he 
learned that the French were leaving Mexico, not sorry even at 
Maximilian's execution. 

The inevitable Franco-Prussian War had just commenced 
when General Lee visited Augusta. But when Woodrow gazed 
into the great Virginian's noble face, it was without emotion, or 
the least sympathy for the so-called "Lost Cause." Over and 
over he asked himself: Were Grant, Sherman, Sheridan, and the 
other Yankee generals as bad 


as they had been painted? How could they be if they agreed 
with Lee about the Union and the Monroe Doctrine? Had not 
Lee himself declared the abolition of slavery a blessing? 

By this time, however, his father's teachings had made him 
rebellious in spirit against Congress and the victorious 
Republican war party, held responsible by his elders for the 
degradation of the South. But his father condemned also the 
"Iron Chancellor" for a ruthlessness that shocked the conscience 
of the world. Poor France — raped by Prussia, like Denmark and 
Austria before her, like the South by the North. The boy 
wondered if there was any justice in the world. 

At this juncture there occurred an event which undoubtedly 
exerted a profound influence upon Woodrow's later life. Just as 
he reached the age when, in all probability, he would have 
formed those youthful acquaintances that would have tended to 
make him overcome his early backwardness, his parents 
decided to remove from Augusta to Columbia, South Carolina. 
By nature timid, it was difficult for the lad to mingle with 
strangers, and form new acquaintances among them. When he 
should have been playing marbles, leap-frog, spinning tops, 
engaging in mock Indian warfare, fighting cocks, robbing bird's 
nests, and frequenting a swimming hole in company with boys 
of his own age, he spent most of his time reading indoors, 
pampered and petted by an adoring mother. 

In South Carolina, he was still among the ashes in the wake 
of Sherman's army; nor were his new neighbors less bitter than 
the Georgians. The boy still found his greatest pleasure in the 
nightly readings of the Endinburgh Review. At this time, in 
1871, almost concurrently with the lamented passing of Lee, 
and the appearance of the Paris Commune, the First 
International was formed. "More travesties on democracy," 
scornfully observed Dr. Wilson. "The British are far more 
democratic than either the French or that mob of Yankee tyrants 
in Washington, who are oppressing us with their reconstruction 
laws and bayonets. As for the Socialists and Communists — in 
fact they are near anarchists." Under the influence of such 
teachings young Wilson 


had naturally formed a great admiration for Gladstone, and had 
come to look askance upon all but the British democracy. 

The hateful Sumner, arch enemy of the South, presently 
introduced a resolution in the Senate favoring the establishment 
of an international tribunal clothed with authority to make it "a 
complete substitute for war. " He wished all the nations to unite 
in declaring a refusal to abide by the judgment of this tribunal 
"hostile to civilization." Thus the man who had favored the 
employment of Yankee bayonets to subdue the South! 

Dr. Wilson thought it was a good thing. Henry of Navarre, 
the Czar Alexander I, and Napoleon, while a prisoner at St. 
Helena, had all urged the formation of such a league. Sumner 
had invented nothing new. He was but following the lead of the 
English. As shown by the Edinburgh Review and the Alabama 
claims decision, they were leading the world in the effort to 
establish the principle of International Arbitration. 

International Arbitration! It was a sounding term. Would it 
really end war? "Yes. For ages the so-called savages of North 
America had employed successfully a league to enforce peace. 
The trouble was that the civilized people of the North, greedy 
for money and power, were more barbarous than the Indians. 
Not until Congress was emancipated from the plutocratic 
interests of the North, who were making capital out of war, 
would it take the Eng-glish proposals seriously." 

Thus the boy whose parents intended him to be a minister of 
the gospel, had hatred of war, Congress, and plutocracy, 
coupled with admiration for the idea of universal peace, and for 
the British parliamentary system, drummed into his head. The 
result was inevitable. One day in 1872, while sitting beneath a 
picture of Gladstone much cherished by his father, a little 
cousin asked him the name of the subject. "That," said the boy 
with an air of superior knowledge, "is Gladstone — the greatest 
statesman who ever lived! I too mean to be a statesman some 

The episode is of the greatest significance. Woodrow 


had already made up his mind not to gratify the wishes of his 
parents. The church was not for him! The preacher-pedagogue 
with his ceaseless talk of world politics, had, all unaware, 
diverted his son from a clerical career. Thereafter, like many 
parents, he would charge his son with stubbornness, for 
indulging the ruling bent of his mind. 

Admitted to the Church in 1873, during the autumn of this 
year young Wilson was sent to Davidson College in North 
Carolina. An old Scotch-Presbyterian classical college, it was 
well calculated to prepare the lad for a clerical career. But it did 
not suit him. He knew his father was attempting to constrain 
him, contrary to his wishes. Interested only in oratory, debating, 
and English political history, he was deemed an indifferent 
student. In the spring Dr. Wilson was called from the 
uncongenial environment of Columbia to Wilmington, North 
Carolina. Anxious to escape from Davidson, his son had 
pleaded illness. Always pampered by his mother, he was 
allowed to join his parents in their new home. Here again he 
found himself among strangers, having apparently made not a 
single lasting friendship at college. In Wilmington he lolled 
about the house most of the time, reading at random. When he 
did venture forth among his neighbors, he learned only to hate 
Congress and the Republican party the more. For of all people 
on earth, none were more violently prejudiced than the almost 
purely Scottish element of Wilmington in 1873! 

It was about this time that Prince Kropotkin began to feed 
the flames of Anarchy that were sweeping over Russia. 
According to modern standards, the Russian anarchists of 1873 
were no more than liberal minded Republicans, in no wise akin 
to the growing following of Karl Marx in Germany and Europe 
generally. Bagehot had but lately shown in his Lombard Street 
that England, too, was suffering from plutocracy, that the 
reactionary capitalistic interests were operating in the same way 
in every country. "Wall Street" was sucking the life-blood of 
the South and West in Amer-ica, just as Lombard Street was 
monopolizing the wealth of the British Empire. In short, 
popular government everywhere was being perverted to the 
selfish advantage of a 


greedy few! No one knew better than Gladstone, said Dr. 
Wilson, that this was the real cause of the spreading radicalism. 
Manifestly, he insisted, the Greenback party — another 
democratic excess — was the direct product of it. Was it not 
evident that Congress could not continue to starve the West 
while looting the South, and yet hold the country loyal to the 
capitalistic order? Sooner or later the West and South would 
unite under a radical leader. Then they would resort to radical 
measures. Evil produces evil — wrong produces wrong. 
Eventually the North would be robbed in turn of all ill-gotten 
gains a plutocratic tariff and Yankee pensions had yielded it. 
Meanwhile Woodrow was probably already thinking what a 
wonderful thing it would be, as the leader of the American 
masses, to correct all these abuses. Unwilling to return to 
Davidson, he persuaded his father to send him to the more 
Democratic Princeton, where many of the more liberal minded 
Southerners were again sending their sons. 

We possess a vivid picture of him at this time. In ap- 
pearance, he was unpolished to the point of gawkiness. Those 
who knew him before he attained eminence, realized keenly his 
notable defects of character. There seems to have been nothing 
peculiarly broad, magnanimous, or lovely in his make-up at this 
time, though much of the angular, harsh, and stubborn. More 
than once he was to give offense at Princeton with the 
gasconade not uncommon in the South, of arrogating to oneself 
a social superiority because of Southern origin. By nature he 
was moody. In spirit he was not a radical, but a rebel. A typical 
Scotch-Irishman, he longed to assail the things he disliked. Yet 
he was not sure this could be done through the Democratic 
party, for it was after all the party of slavery and secession, of 
the Ku Klux Klan, and of nullification. He deemed it 
democratic in name only. 

With tremendous ideas and equal doubts in his mind, he was 
a ravenous reader. During the next four years he revelled in 
Darwin, Spencer, Huxley, Bagehot, and Lecky, the most talked 
of English writers of the time. He learned with interest of the 
establishment of Johns Hopkins Uni- 


versity in 1876. An institution frankly modelled after the 
German universities, it was to be devoted to the study of the 
higher learning, and particularly social and economic theories. 
Devouring Adam Smith, Macaulay, Montesquieu, Voltaire, 
Rousseau, Locke, Carlyle, Burke, The Federalist, and John 
Stuart Mill, he came to love Hamilton rather than Jefferson, to 
despise Disraeli as the enemy of Gladstone. Gladstone, Bright, 
and Hamilton — they were his heroes ! 

Poor lad! With his eyes wholly averted from the spiritual 
aspects of life, he seems, no more than the materialistic 
philosophers, to have suspected that there were human ills for 
which there was no politico-economic cure-all. He failed to 
see that material man must inevitably pay a penalty in one form 
or another for his willful blindness. Enlarging his stock of 
information, he committed the common error of imagining that 
mere knowledge is wisdom. Like the Socialists, Communists, 
and Anarchists, as well as the philosophic materialists, 
commonly called liberals, conservatives, or reactionaries, he 
was searching for an elixir that would avoid the unavoidable. 
He did not know that the American people, and nations 
generally, were all subject to what the Hindu mystics called the 
law of Karma — the law of retribution. Moreover, like most 
Western scholars and their pupils, he dismissed the seemingly 
new philosophy called Theosophy as an absurdity. Surely no 
serious minded man would concern himself with the 
weird teachings of Madame Blavatsky, the strange Russian 
woman who, in 1875, set up her cult in America. In him there 
was enough of devotion to Presbyterianism to cause him to look 
upon Theosophists and Positivists alike as little better than 
atheists. Such was his mental attitude when, in 1876, or the 
year following the Congress of Scientists in Philadelphia, and 
the founding of the Theosophic Society by Madame Blavatsky, 
Tucker's translation of Proudhon's Anarchy was published in 
the Free Enquirer, while Huxley was still lecturing in the United 
States on the materialistic superman and the Evolution of 
Species through Natural Selection. 


Were the evolutionists also atheists? Along with the 
Theosophists who denied this whole theory, the Church, irate 
and rampant, was so branding them. He was far more interested 
in Proudhon's economic theories than in religion. The Hayes- 
Tilden campaign of 1876, and the stealing of the presidency by 
the Republican party, merely confirmed his hatred of the latter. 
He doubted not that the whole system of American government 
was faulty. Accordingly, as an editor of the Princetonian, he 
succeeded in expounding his own political theories in an article 
entitled Cabinet Government in the United States. Published 
later in the International Review, it is proof of his deep interest 
in the British parliamentary system, that he held it superior to 
the American system; believing a premier like Gladstone far 
more effective than a constitutional executive like Jefferson, 
Jackson, or Grant. To give further expression to his ideas, he 
organized not a Democratic but a liberal debating club, naming 
it The Whig. 

Much intrigued by the Serbian War of 1876 and the Russo- 
Turkish War of 1877, he saw in them the means by which 
Russia, blocked by Britain in the Himalayas, sought to reach the 
Mediterranean via the Balkans. The Russian Government was 
said by the press to have killed half of its poor mujik conscripts 
by feeding them sawdust for bread. Even Turkey was shocked 
by the increasing barbarity of war. So the Red Crescent was 
formed, while Florence Nightingale again labored on behalf of 
humanity in Stam-boul. The Church clutched at these slender 
reeds, and at the recent abolition of slavery by the Western 
world, as conclusive evidence that the trunk of Christendom 
was sound, that under its influence mankind was evolving to a 
higher humanity. This was denied by the Theosophists. In her 
first great book — Isis Unveiled — Madame Blavatsky, the al- 
leged atheist, shocked by the increasing materialism of the 
West, collected an immense amount of evidence to prove that 
history had been deliberately falsified to support the numerous 
conflicting theological dogmas; then, invoking science, exposed 
the purely empirical character of the Darwin- Vogt-Hegel- 
Huxley school of thought. "There is 


no religion higher than truth," she insisted. "The truth alone 
shall set man free. Look not to material achievements alone. 
There are things material, and there are things spiritual. Already 
Western civilization is in decline. Those who do not look to the 
Divine Father for guidance must perish of their folly." Thus, 
despite her comprehensive condemnation of the Church, and the 
sneers of the materialistic scientists, did this so-called atheist 
seek to direct the minds of the West back to the fundamental 
doctrines of Jesus Christ. 

There is no evidence that the young Princeton student of 
political science and economics ever read Isis Unveiled. The 
charges of atheism being brought against Robert G. Ingersoll, 
were sufficient to suggest to him that a young man with 
political aspirations should avoid taking an unorthodox stand on 
religion. It seemed wiser for him to leave the whole question of 
the apparent conflict between religion and science alone, to deal 
only with politico-economic matters. Apparently, therefore, his 
attachment to the Presbyterian doctrine of predestination 
remained unshaken. 

A materialist himself, by the test of his writings, what he 
wanted to know was the economic causes of the great struggle 
between the railway and mine operators and the laborers of 
Pittsburgh during the summer of 1877. Were the strikes in truth 
merely the consequence of the economic depression following 
the shocking revelry of greed that Congress had encouraged? 

His studies showed that doctrines strange to most Amer- 
icans were current among the alien strikers. Their protest 
against the ever growing capitalist monopoly was perhaps the 
first indication in America of the spreading influence of the 
doctrines of Kropotkin and of Marx. 

By 1878, commercial interests demanded American 
absorption of Samoa as a stepping stone to the East — an un- 
thinkable policy to the Democrats. Increasing popular unrest, 
meanwhile, produced the socialistic Greenback-Labor party. 
Grant and Schurz might appeal for the Indians, but Wall Street, 
backing the construction of the new trans- 


continental railroads, insisted on acquisition of Indian 

The "land of the free and the home of the brave" seethed 
with discontent, despite growing wealth and increasing 
population. Something was supplanting the old popular ideas, 
while radicalism increased. In all this, there was cause for 
much reflection by the moralists. 

The small things in life are often fraught with utmost 
importance. Democracy has, in practice, been ever hostile to 
the instincts of ordinary men. American colleges early 
developed the aristocratic institution of the Greek letter 
fraternity, while democratic Princeton substituted eating clubs, 
early monopolized nonetheless by the elite. Young Wilson was 
not invited to join, a stigma poisonous to a high tempered youth 
of his character, which turned him against the social system of 
his alma mater. Years afterwards it was to exert a profound 
influence upon his career by throwing him into opposition to 
the social order of the college, with the most direful 
consequences to himself. 

By the end of his Senior year, he had become the leading 
debater in college. So set was his character, and so firmly 
developed his prejudices, that he refused to take the tariff side 
in a college debate against Free Trade, because of his 
admiration for Gladstone and British free trade policies. 
Already dubbed by his comrades a "lonehunter," 61 who could 
never be depended on for team work, he felt his isolation 
keenly. But, young as he was at graduation, no personal 
sensitiveness could swerve him from the predetermined course 
that already held within it the seeds of both his future triumphs, 
and his ultimate tragedies. 



Wilson Studies Law. Hostile to the Southern Political 
Tradition, He Attempts Practice in Atlanta. Enters Johns 
Hopkins. Publishes "Congressional Government." Enters the 
Faculty of Bryn Mawr. Goes to Wesleyan. Deems Both 
Parties Moribund. Publishes "The State," and "Division and 
Reunion." Denies Southern Origin, and Claims to be a 
Federalist. Seeks to Create a Third Party. The Rise of 
Anarchy and Socialism. Carnegie and Bryce Versus 
Proudhon and Kropotkin. Populism. Bryanism. William of 
Hohenzollern Succeeds to the Throne of Germany. Fall of 

WILSON RETURNED to Wilmington after graduation. He 
now dropped the name of Thomas, in favor of the 
more distinguished Woodrow. He had abandoned all 
thought of the ministry; nor did he like law, despite its being the 
surest stepping stone to a political career in the South. 
Nevertheless, he decided to enter the University of Virginia 
Law School. 

Disliking Jefferson as lacking in force, he was out of 
harmony from the beginning with "the University" where the 
once despised Jefferson was held almost a divinity. In 
Woodrow's own words, he had become "something of a 
Federalist," looking upon Hamilton as "the greatest American 
statesman, not excepting Washington." 

We have no record of his position in the current controversy 
regarding the attempt of a French syndicate, headed by 
Ferdinand De Lesseps, to construct a canal on the Isthmus of 
Panama, at that time Colombian territory. President Hayes 
opposed the undertaking as an infringement of the Monroe 
Doctrine, but failed of the South American support essential to 
his contentions. Fortunately 


for the United States, the De Lesseps undertaking ended in 
financial disaster. 

Woodrow had by now come to dislike almost equally both 
the Democratic and Republican parties, as having abandoned 
their cardinal principles. His already conspicuous unpopularity 
at the University, was intensified at this time by a public speech 
in which he displayed a complete lack of sympathy for the 
Southern cause in the late Civil War, and its subsequent policy 
of Sectionalism. He was for the Union above all else. 

The softening of his early Presbyterianism is indicated by 
his acceptance, at this time, of an invitation from the Jefferson 
Society to uphold against the future Senator from Maryland, 
William Cabell Bruce, the negative of the question: "Is the 
Roman Catholic element in the United States a menace to 
American Institutions?" The inability of the judges in this 
public debate to decide on the victor, resulted in their awarding 
medals to Bruce as the best debater, and to Wilson as the best 

Meanwhile even his admirers, like Bruce, considered him to 
be "swelled-headed," and his unpopularity and consequent 
discontent increased. As a result of this situation, coupled with 
recurrent illness, he finally left the University, and continued 
his reading, in somewhat desultory fashion, for a year and a 
half more in his father's library. 17 ' 61 ' 119 

While his parents and friends were discouraged at his lack 
of concrete accomplishment, we must realize that he was too 
stubborn in character ever to degenerate into a mere idler. 
Rather, he was feeling his way toward an outlet from an 
uncongenial rut. While he was safe enough in rejoicing at this 
time over England's acquisition of the Suez Canal, and of 
Egypt, over her consolidation of her rule in India, and over 
Beaconsfield's final defeat, he was less fortunate in his position 
as to American affairs. In fact, an address on Confederate 
Memorial Day, 1881, reasserting his opposition to the 
traditional "Confederate" position, so exasperated all of 
Wilmington that he was generally denounced as a "Damn 
Yankee Lover," and advised to "go 


back North, where he and his anti-American, anti-Southern 
ideas belong!" 

Having thus made home too hot for himself, and recog- 
nizing, moreover, the necessity of making a living, he repaired 
to Atlanta and formed the law firm of Renick and Wilson, an 
undertaking which met with little success. A far more important 
event was his meeting with Walter Hines Page, a fellow North 
Carolinian, who had, after attending Johns Hopkins, become a 
reporter on the New York World. Page shared Wilson's anti- 
sectional views, and encouraged Woodrow in his desire to 
write, as well as in his political ambitions. The important result 
was the beginning of work on Congressional Government, a 
book which reflects Wilson's enthusiasm for the British 
Parliamentary system, and which he completed in the fall of 
1884. It was to make his reputation, going through fourteen 
editions between its publication in 1885 and the close of the 

Wilson seems to have been little affected by the increasing 
spread of radical doctrines, marked by the publication abroad of 
Proudhon's God and the State, and commemorated in this 
country by the warnings of Ely at Johns Hopkins in his French 
and German Socialism. Yet these influences were felt so 
strongly abroad, as to cause Switzerland, in the interest of 
international Government solidarity, to propose, on April 1, 
1883, to the United States, a general treaty for international 
arbitration. The idea was encouraged by Secretary 
Frelinghuysen and President Arthur, but never came to fruition. 

The influences that were beginning to shape Wood-row's 
choice of a permanent career, were brought to a head by his 
meeting Ellen Axson, with whom he promptly fell in love. To 
marry her, necessitated a permanent career, and he had already 
recognized that his mind was not a legal one, and that the law 
held out no prospects of success. His parents had become 
impatient with his dubious prospects, and he could not continue 
to depend on their permanent support. He determined, therefore, 
to prepare himself at Johns Hopkins for a career as a writer and 
teacher, with possible eventual political opportunities in 


Entering the still youthful institution at Baltimore in 1883, 
he specialized first in political economy, philosophy, history 
and government. He studied intensively the works of Adam 
Smith, and John Stuart Mill, as well as the later Ely. He read 
deeply the most advanced German and other continental 
writers. And, most important of all to his later career, he met 
here Theodore Marburg, six years his junior, but in every way 
a kindred spirit. 

Marburg has, in some respects, no counterpart in history. 
At times even Machiavelli seems, compared to him, like a 
novice at the game of politics. Of German extraction, he was 
born in Baltimore, July 10, 1862. In 1881, he attended Johns 
Hopkins and formed the acquaintance of Walter Hines Page. 
Like a number of his brothers, he soon became a wealthy 
tobacconist. It is a peculiarly significant fact that their business 
success commenced with the novel enterprise of the exhibition 
by Theodore Marburg, in North Carolina, of an elephant to 
advertise the family product. All his life, the originator of this 
idea was to appeal with his gigantic schemes to the 
imaginations of his fellowmen. In a sense he was always the 
victim of a "mental elephantiasis." 

But though a born organizer, advertiser, promoter, he was 
nothing of a charlatan. With unusual intellectual gifts, studious 
by nature, he was, even as a young man, a patron of learning. 
Noting his peculiar bent of mind, those among whom he came 
to intellectual maturity, deemed him an impractical visionary. 
Like most young men who think and dare to express 
themselves, he was not taken seriously. Those who heard him, 
declared, with something of a sneer, that he would do better to 
devote himself, along with his brothers, to the manufacture of 
smoking tobacco than to economics and political science, 
socialism and international finance. What had a Baltimorean 
tobacconist to do with such things? Most certainly the police 
were competent to take care of the radicals. Apparently it was 
just some more of the strange jargon which Adams, Jamison, 
Ely and other young professors at Johns Hopkins had brought 
back from Germany. This was the popular attitude of the mid 


eighties toward the "new learning." Such was the man whose 
intellectual development was to proceed concurrently with that 
of Wilson, and who was, indirectly at least, to dictate much of 
the latter's political philosophy. 

While it was to be another ten years or more before Marburg 
"burst into print," the cultivation of literary style now became 
an obsession with Wilson. He deemed art in writing a source of 
power. He began to expand Congressional Government to 
submit it as a graduation thesis. In the autumn of 1884, the 
Democratic party was swept into control of the country upon 
the wave of a great popular revolt. But although Wilson 
preferred Cleveland to Blaine, he was still an anti-Republican 
rather than a Democrat. Referring, after the election, to a certain 
presidential appointment, he wrote: "The dismemberment of the 
Democratic party is a consummation devoutly to be wished, 
and, if this appointment, which must delight every true advocate 
of civil service reform, every wisher for good government, is to 
have any influence, let us pray that it may effect that 
dismemberment. Then my November hopes, for the rise of a 
new party to which one could belong with self-respect and 
enthusiasm, might be realized." * 

These views were identical with those of Page and Marburg. 
At heart Wilson too seemed to be a non-partisan Nationalist. He 
believed the time had come to express his political views, thus 
to set in train the movement which he had long had in mind. 
Congressional Government was accepted by a publisher, and 
appeared in the winter of 1885. It evidenced his characteristic 
dislike of the restraints of precedent. 

"The Constitution is not honored by blind worship. The 
more open-minded we become, as a nation, to its defects, and 
the prompter we grow in applying, with the unhesitating 
courage of conviction, all thoroughly tested or well-considered 
expedients necessary to make self-government among us a 
straightforward thing of simple method, single, unstinted 
power, and clear responsibility, 

* Italics added. 


the nearer will we approach to the sound sense and practical 
genius of the great and honorable statesmen of 1787." Plainly 
he chafed under the bonds of the Constitution. 

Gamaliel Bradford of Boston, an advanced thinker, praised 
the book in the Nation. Despite much sneering criticism from 
Republicans and Democrats alike, it won for its author the John 
Marshall prize given by Johns Hopkins. With his pen Wilson 
was becoming a marked man, marked not only as a writer, but 
as an independent political thinker. 

While he was serving as an assistant instructor, professorial 
opportunities at the Universities of Arkansas and Tulane 
opened to him. But he had no idea of burying himself in the 
"hidebound South." Although he loathed the idea of teaching 
women, he accepted in 1885 the professorship of political 
science at the newly founded Bryn Mawr College. For this he 
actually felt compelled to apologize! At least it was a rung on 
the ladder, and a means of getting married. 

The Bryn Mawr girls assumed he was a minister. "There 
seems to be something about the cut of my jib that leads a great 
many people to conclude that I am a missionary craft of some 
sort — though I could myself never discover what it is." 

In spite of the eager energy which he applied to the new 
work, in spite of the complete happiness of his married life, it 
was not long before his impatient and ambitious spirit began to 
chafe at the limitations of his surroundings. His aspirations 
reached the stars. It became more and more irksome to him to 
teach women, to say nothing of being directed by a woman. 
Dean Thomas, with all her brilliance and her genius, proved to 
be difficult for him to work with. Moreover, his salary was 
barely enough for two to live on. 

About the youthful nonchalance of America at this time, 
there was something astonishingly impertinent. Sick of her 
miseries, Europe had, in her old age, contemplated silently the 
expansive energy of a polyglot civilization, still, in its 
ignorance, calling itself Anglo-Saxon! Perhaps after all, with 
her ancient distempers, her continuing prejudices, 


Europe had missed the secret of life. Wisely, therefore, the 
European statesmen made no effort to curb the human out- 
pourings from their shores. With the blood of Europe being 
purged of many impurities, they were content to beat the toll of 
an enormous tariff to this irresistible New World civilization, 
which was all the while nearing a crisis. 

Thoroughly schooled in the social and economic theories of 
Johns Hopkins, the studies of Wilson's new friend, Marburg, 
had shown him the trend of events, and particularly the 
significance of the vanishing frontier. He saw that the 
radicalisms being borne to America upon the flood tide of an 
unprecedented immigration, by the disciples of Marx, 
Kropotkin, and Most, could no more be destroyed in Zangwill's 
"melting pot," than the irony of Voltaire and the anarchistic 
teachings of Kropotkin could be confined to a dungeon in 
France, or the social evil controlled by the singing of psalms. 
Surely there would come a day of reckoning, when, having 
reached its saturation point, American society would no longer 
be able to assimilate the blood of a horde of strangers each year. 
He believed that a social revolution threatened America. 
Whatever may be said of the self-satisfied, bombastic 
provincialism, at this time, of Americans generally, it was 
impossible for thinkers like the men at Johns Hopkins to close 
their eyes to the facts of what was going on in Europe, as well 
as in America. 

The British Tories or Imperialists had had their way under 
Disraeli, undeterred save by the threat of Russia. Social 
Democracy, or a perversion of Socialism which Marx himself 
had loathed, had been making great headway in Germany and 
Russia. Moreover the Socialists had about overcome Most and 
the Anarchists. But still another party had formed in Germany. 
With William of Hohenzollern as its spokesman, it wanted not 
only to crush the Socialists, but to share with the other Powers 
in the division of Asia and Africa, by force if necessary. From 
this it was only restrained by Bismarck who, having erected the 
German Empire, wished to avoid a conflict with either Russia 
or Britain while consolidating it upon its existing foundations. 


No one could fail to see that the militarists of Germany and the 
Dual Monarchy on the one side, and of France and Russia on 
the other, were converting Europe into an armed camp, while 
the German expansionists were ever more loudly demanding a 
place in the sun for the Vaterland. Anarchists, Socialists, and 
Social Democrats, naturally Internationalists and Pacifists, were 
arraying themselves more threateningly against the capitalistic 
order every year. 

While the proletarian revolution constantly gathered force, 
while the autocracies of Europe prepared to disturb the peace of 
the world, Andrew Carnegie, a naturalized Scotch-American, 
and one of the richest men of the age, suddenly turned 
philanthropist. Like Marburg and the professors at Johns 
Hopkins, like the Rothschilds, like Lombard Street and Wall 
Street, he saw the capitalistic order imperilled. How could he 
utilize his vast wealth to save it? Was not the way through 
democracy, through a compromise with the proletarians? So 
concluding, he voiced his theories in Democracy Triumphant. It 
was a plain plea for the democratization of the world, which, as 
he saw it, could be saved only through those liberal reforms 
urged long ago by Mill, Spencer, and Bagehot, and more 
recently by Ely. 

With Carnegie's object, there was no fault to find. But he 
was, like Kropotkin, unable to outline a plan for the realization 
of his ideal. Of course, if Democracy could be universally 
established, Socialism and Anarchy would be avoided. But how 
was this to be done? This was the question asked by thinking 
persons, while Kropotkin, who had always proclaimed the war 
of the Anarchists upon the existing order, published, in direct 
answer to Carnegie, his Law and Authority. 

Seeing that woman suffrage must come, Wilson favored it, 
along with many other reforms. He pressed Page and his 
classmates, Cleveland H. Dodge and Robert Bridges, to help 
him forward. While Carnegie assumed the leadership of 
democracy in the fight of capital against anarchy, Bridges 
arranged for Wilson to address the Princeton Alumni. His 
speech was a complete failure. 


Following him, Chauncey Depew, a typical capitalist, and 
railroad president, poked good-humored fun at the deadly 
seriousness of the young professor; and the audience laughed 
with him. This cut Wilson to the quick. 

"It can be imagined," says Ray Baker in his biography, 
"what such a failure meant to a man of Wilson's temperament. 
It was the only time in his entire career that an audience 
laughed at him. "... He considered it a far worse failure than it 
really was, and did not recover for years from his chagrin. He 
felt that one of the possible doors of his liberation — by way of 
oratory, to which he had given so much labor — was definitely 
closed. 17 

Two weeks later he went to Washington to see his old 
friend and former law partner, Renick, who had intimated that 
he might find a place for him in the Department of State, with 
freedom to look into the "inside of the government." They 
visited various bureau chiefs — found several who had been 
interested in Congressional Government — but no place for an 
impecunious young professor, without so much as a single 
political acquaintance to give him standing with the 
Administration. With his head full of the great affairs of the 
world, and an ultimate ambition to be "senator from Virginia," 
he knew little of the fierce struggle going on for every office 
that paid even a trifling salary in a new Democratic 
administration. One significant thing he did on this trip: he 
visited for the first time that Congress, about which he had 
been writing so long. 

James Bryce, friend and disciple of Gladstone, now re- 
introduced the American political system to Europe, in a work 
which attracted more attention abroad than any since the 
appearance of de Tocqueville's half a century before. In The 
American Commonwealth he quoted Congressional 
Government. This was very flattering to Wilson. An instant 
response to Carnegie, The American Commonwealth was the 
first real effort of a British statesman to appeal to the kinship of 
Britain and America, to seek an alliance between them in the 
struggle between capital and the proletariat. 

But what Europe saw in America was not encouraging. 


At the very moment Carnegie and Bryce were preaching the 
virtues of democracy, following the Grange, Greenback, and 
Labor movements, there commenced the radical Populist 
movement in the West. With radical, social, and economic 
theories of his own, William Jennings Bryan appeared upon the 
political stage. Coincidentally Grover Cleveland, a great 
conservative, and a Democrat on principle who had achieved 
vast reforms, was defeated for reelection. 

At Johns Hopkins, the nostrum of Free Silver which, in his 
ignorance of economic principles, the "Boy Orator of the 
Platte" was proffering the country along with his anti-foreign 
sentiments, seemed the sheerest quackery. There Bryan was 
looked upon, not as a mere political mountebank, but as a real 
menace. In this circle of advanced thinkers, one heard both 
American and European politics discussed with far greater 
breadth than elsewhere. With minds transcending insularity, the 
young professors were thinking like Carnegie and Bryce in 
international terms. With the same clarity of vision that 
characterized his preceptors, Marburg too saw the essential 
social and economic unity of the modern world, in which cables 
and ocean greyhounds had all but eliminated factors of time and 
distance. Alarmed by the turn American politics were taking 
under a radical demagogic leadership, convinced like his intel- 
lectual associates that Bryan was but the product of a dangerous 
nationalism, the idea had fixed itself in his mind that Carnegie 
was right, that America must be led away from the traditional 
policy of isolation characteristic 18 of both national parties. 

A petition signed by two hundred and thirty -five members 
of the British Parliament, urging a treaty of arbitration between 
the United States and Great Britain, re-enforced by a multitude 
of individuals and associations from Maine to California, was 
shortly presented to President Cleveland and to Congress. 
Carnegie had also organized many of the most eminent citizens 
of New York to back it. The Interparliamentary Union was 
formed, and, on June 13, 1888, John Sherman of the Senate 


on Foreign Relations, reported a joint Resolution requesting the 
President to institute negotiations looking to treaties of 
arbitration. In this way were the rising dangers to the 
Capitalistic order to be met. 

Wilson, also under the Johns Hopkins influence, had now 
come to believe in the necessity of an Anglo-American alliance. 
He further averred that both national parties were moribund, 
and urged the formation of a third party. Plainly he had in mind 
one that would abandon the old American Isolationism, which, 
he felt, had become a threat to the world. Being but an 
unknown professor, he naturally made no headway with this 
proposal. Meanwhile, soon after the presidential election, an 
opportunity to escape from his unpleasant situation at Bryn 
Mawr, offered itself. He accepted a professorship at Wesleyan 
as a step toward Princeton. There he made a great reputation as 
a teacher of politics. His ideas of Hamilton, Jefferson, Jackson, 
Clay, Webster, Calhoun and Lincoln were not those of a 
Democrat. He was, however, now an avowed exponent of the 
capitalistic order. 

Wilson now published The State as a protest against 
Socialism. It shows him much under the influence of Adam 
Smith, Mill, Spencer, Bagehot, Bryce, and Carnegie. It is 
evident from his three books that he, too, saw democracy as a 
growth, not as an invention; a life, not a machine; an effect, not 
a cause. 

"Democracy," he wrote, "is of course wrongly conceived 
when treated as merely a body of doctrine, or as simply a form 
of government. It is a stage of development. It is not created by 
aspirations or by new faith; it is built up by slow habit. Its 
process is experience, its basis old wont, its meaning national 
organic unity and effectual life. It comes, like manhood, as the 
fruit of youth; immature peoples cannot have it, and the 
maturity to which it is vouchsafed is the maturity of freedom 
and self-control, and no other. It is conduct, and its only stable 
foundation is character. America has democracy because she is 
free; she is not free because she has democracy. A particular 
form of government may no more be adopted than a particular 
form of character may 


be adopted; both institutions and character must be developed 
by conscious effort and through transmitted aptitudes." 

Elsewhere he pointed out that the English alone had 
approached popular institutions through habit. "All other races 
have rushed prematurely into them through mere impatience 
with habit; have adopted democracy, instead of cultivating it." 

He agreed entirely with Burke's attitude toward the French 
Revolution: "Monarchies may be made, but democracies must 

These were sound ideas. "The government which we 
founded one hundred years ago was no type of an experiment 
in advance democracy, as we allowed Europe and even 
ourselves to suppose; it was simply an adaptation of English 
constitutional government." 

The mistake which he made, here, was fundamental and 
permanent. Characteristically provincial in his knowledge of 
history other than ancient and British, like most American 
historians, he traced everything of a democratic nature in 
America back to Magna Charta. But, like Carnegie and Bryce, 
he foresaw the dangers threatening the New World democracy. 

"America," he wrote, "is now sauntering through her 
resources, and through the mazes of her politics with easy 
nonchalance; but presently there will come a time when she 
will be surprised to find herself grown old, — a country 
crowded, strained, perplexed — when she will be obliged to fall 
back upon her conservatism, obliged to pull herself together, 
adopt a new regime of life, husband her resources, concentrate 
her strength, steady her methods, sober her views, restrict her 
vagaries, trust her best, not her average, members. That will be 
the time of change. " 

Thus he recommended himself to the country as a safe 
leader through whom to effect the changes in Government 
which he had in mind, changes that would bind Britain and 
America together, and save the capitalistic order! 

Notwithstanding Carnegie's and Bryce's laudation of 
democracy, the recent experiences of the Latin Americans 


in the Chilean and Brazilian episodes with the great Republic 
of the North, coupled with the memory of the Mexican War, 
had completely destroyed their confidence in it. Among them 
the conviction was fixed that the Monroe Doctrine was but a 
sham to fix Gringo control over them. To counteract this 
impression, and to gain their cooperation in enforcing the 
Monroe Doctrine, Blaine, Secretary of State in Harrison's 
cabinet, again invited the International American Conference to 
assemble in Washington. Attended by representatives of all the 
American states except Santo Domingo, the Congress of 1889- 
90 agreed to establish "a voluntary organization of the twenty- 
one American Republics with a governing board established in 
Washington," to be devoted to the development and 
conservation of "peace, friendship, and commerce." 

"We hold up this new Magna Charta, which abolishes war 
and substitutes arbitration between the American Republics," 
said Blaine, "as the first great fruit of the International 
American Conference." Thereupon Congress adopted the 
Sherman Resolution of 1888. 

All this was a step well calculated to fortify the Monroe 
Doctrine against a violation by a non-American state. But while 
Wilson noted its evidence of a growing tendency toward 
international association, he was far less interested at this time 
in international politics and the world peace movement, than in 
the great good fortune which now came to him. The devoted 
Bridges had contrived at last to have him elected a professor at 
Princeton, where, under the inspiration of Johns Hopkins, new 
ideas were finally being welcomed. 

When Woodrow Wilson entered the faculty at Princeton, a 
world-revolution of both a social and economic nature, was 
already in progress. The Sherman Anti-Trust Act, the activities 
of Bryan and Carnegie, and the new school of thought at Johns 
Hopkins but reflected the influence of the revolutionists. 
Woodrow Wilson commenced his professorship thoroughly 
aware of these profound changes and of others that were 
inevitably impending. 



Bryan and Free Silver. Marburg at Oxford. The Rise of 
Japan. Wilson Takes Up Writing History for Political 
Purposes. His "George Washington." Marburg and "The 
World's Money Problem." Bryan Defeated. "Despairing 
Democracy." The Spanish- American War and American 

LIKE PEARLY CLOUDS, the hopes of the Pacifists were drifting 
across the sky of reality, when in the autumn of 1890 
Wilson assumed his duties at Princeton. It was only now 
and then that they caught the glint of Michael's blade, that the 
distant rumbling of some minor war broke the ominous silence. 
Looking back, it is plain that, in the midst of the war on capital 
by the proletariat, a conflict between the nationalist states of the 
world was inevitable. 

With a brilliant faculty, Princeton was in process of 
transformation from an old college to a new university. Here 
also, with his novel ideas, Wilson proved to be a popular 
lecturer. By some he was even deemed "an inspired teacher." 
He took a leading role among the progressive element of the 
faculty. His purpose was plain, for now he began to make 
extended speaking tours, always talking politics, always hinting 
at the need of changes in the old order; but he rarely dealt with 
world economics. There was nothing concrete, in a party sense, 
in his criticisms of the existing order, though he apparently 
loathed Bryan and all of his radicalisms. Nor did he yet appear 
to have taken any particular notice of the world peace 

In 1892, Harrison submitted the Bering Sea controversy 
with Great Britain to arbitration. In 1893, Engels published 
Marx's third volume of "Kapital"; coincidentally 


Wilson published a series of essays — Epochs of History. He 
had long since discovered the distrust of Southern Democrats in 
the North, as well as the anti-British sentiment there. To show 
that he had no sympathy with the Southern political tradition, 
he next published Division and Reunion. In a letter to his 
Boston publisher, he was careful to explain that he was not of 
Southern origin as so often supposed, that he was not a 
Democrat but a Federalist! 17 Plainly he had learned much about 
practical politics in the short time since he had ceased seeking 
the support of the South, and begun looking to Northern 
conservatives. Instead of trying to force the facts of life to fit 
his own philosophy, he was now adjusting his public utterances 
to fit his purpose, and taking the first steps which a political 
philosopher, who aspires to be a statesman, must always take to 
reach the political stage. Probably both Page and Marburg had 
given him practical advice ! 

Wilson's last book had just appeared when, on July 16, 1893, 
under the influence of such thinkers as Bryce and Lecky with 
whom Carnegie was actively cooperating to suppress anti- 
European sentiment in America, the House of Commons passed 
a resolution expressing its cordial sympathy with the recent 
joint Resolution of Congress favoring arbitration. If there was 
to be a Pan-American Union, why not also an Anglo-American 
Union to uphold democracy? Accordingly, in December, 1893, 
Cleveland referred the British resolution to the Senate, and 
soon, amid the plaudits of the Internationalists, an Anglo- 
American treaty of arbitration was executed. 

It is significant that just at this moment, at the very height of 
a financial panic in the United States, Marburg decided to take a 
special course in economics and political science at Oxford. 
There he proposed to acquaint himself with the Fabians, 
intellectual leaders of political Socialism in England. In 
England, he soon met Bryce, William T. Stead of the Pall Mall 
Gazette, Bernard Shaw, and Lecky who was, next to Bryce, the 
foremost political writer in England. Under these influences, 
supplemented by the views of English bankers, it was not long 
before he reached 


certain definite conclusions as to the causes of the panic in 
America, and the monetary troubles of other countries. 45 

While he was in England, an event occurred which, almost 
unperceived, affected world politics profoundly. With a 
national army patterned after the Prussian model and trained by 
German driilmasters, and a navy trained by the British, Japan 
had become, through the sudden defeat of China, a world 
power to be reckoned with by Europe, and especially Britain 
and Russia. America was determined to share in the trade of 
China. This very year an unsuccessful attempt had been made 
by the United States to acquire the Hawaiian Islands, which, 
under American influence, had formed themselves into a 
Republic, as the American stepping stone to the Orient. The 
race between Japan and America to dominate the Pacific had 

u 69 


Marburg sensed the meaning of all this. America was 
headed for trouble, was likely to become involved in the 
impending general conflict, unless something were done to 
prevent it. Yet, although he found no one at home but Carnegie 
particularly alarmed, he was not yet prepared to take up the 
program of political education he had in mind. He decided 
accordingly to attend the Ecole de la Science Politique in Paris 
during the session of 1895, the better to acquaint himself with 
Continental points of view, and particularly with the theories of 
Saint-Simon, Blanc, Jaures, Millerand, and the French political 
Socialists. It is not unlikely that, before his departure, he 
discussed the economic situation with Wilson, in the hope of 
directing the latter's polished pen against Bryan. 

Presently there occurred the Venezuela boundary incident, 
and the now famous defiance to England, in support of the 
Monroe Doctrine, on the part of Grover Cleveland. The leaders 
of both parties were seeking to overcome their domestic 
economic difficulties by resort to the old trick of diverting the 
mind of the country to foreign affairs. A wave of anti-British 
sentiment swept over the country, in which Bryan took a 
leading part. In response to this, the Anglo-American arbitration 
treaty was suspended, Cleveland appointed a Commission to 
determine by an ex parte 


investigation what were America's rights. He proposed that the 
country should stand on the report without regard to the ideas of 
others. At this the British not unnaturally also became excited. 
War was a possibility, when Lord Salisbury, with great poise, 
prevented a threatened rupture by refusing to become angry. At 
this juncture the International Law Association met at Brussels, 
and proposed the establishment of a permanent court of 
arbitration to which the nations should bind themselves by 
treaty to submit their disputes. 

Wilson had long since seen in the danger of Bryanism a 
great political opportunity for himself. Moreover, he had 
learned that, in an age of American imperialism, he must stop 
talking about the superiority of the British over the American 
system of government; that there are some things best left 
unsaid. To show that he was prepared to offer conservative 
leadership as opposed to the radicals who were shouting in 
Bryan's train, he decided in 1895 to write a popular life of 
Washington, who had previously occupied a secondary place to 
Hamilton and Gladstone in his regard. Having thoroughly 
established his political principles in his previous writings, he 
was now ready to make a popular appeal to the country by 
glorifying the Patriot Father. 

So far the historians had done nothing to prevent, and much 
to promote, warfare. There had been few writers like Tolstoi. 
For centuries youthful minds had been introduced to history 
through glamorous fables like Homer's. Indeed, "the historian of 
his country's woes" had depicted war with such imperishable 
art, that he had immortalized the barbaric warriors of the heroic 
age. Patterning their narratives after his, successors in the field 
of history had made their records little more than narratives of 
perpetual strife among peoples. Whether they had written of 
Hector and Achilles, of Hannibal and Scipio, of Cassar and 
Pompey, of Marlborough, Gustavus, and Frederick, of Clive 
and Dupleix, of Bonaparte, Blucher, Suvarov and Wellington, 
of Grant and Lee, of Von Moltke or Skobelev, little had been 
said of the unheroic aspect of the wars in which the military 
chieftains had distinguished themselves. Always 


it had been the same. Resounding through their pages, one 
heard the shrill clarions and the clashing cymbals of AEschylus. 
The rush and the rumble of Olympian chariots had merely been 
succeeded by the peal of modern artillery. This being so, it was 
not strange that in every country, little boys with wooden staves 
and cocked hats made of their father's newspapers, were still 
playing in the scented gardens of their youth at the game of 
generals and admirals, just as Tommy Wilson had done, while 
little girls applauded the prowess of the mock warriors. Still 
beyond the empurpled horizon of the rising generation lay the 
heroic myth of Valhalla, still, despite all the pacifists had done, 
the children of America were taught by historians to look upon 
Bunker Hill and Yorktown, Alamo and Palo Alto, Chickamauga 
and Cemetery Hill, as the glory of American manhood. In the 
recent Chilean, Brazilian, and Venezuelan incidents, the Nation 
had shown itself just as willing to fight — the weak Latin 
Americans or the powerful Britons, it made no difference — as it 
had always been when aroused. 

Here was a great opportunity for a brilliant intellect like 
Wilson's to penetrate with translucent thought to the very core 
of American character, to tell "the whole truth," to appeal to a 
higher patriotism, to assail the Anarchists, Socialists, 
Communists, Nationalists, Imperialists alike, to make the truths 
of history scintillate in the sunshine of an incisive logic, and 
shimmer like spangles in the moonlight of the strong 
Washingtonian national sentiment of the country. Surely the 
task might inspire any one capable of writing, especially 
Wilson, for nothing could serve to call attention to sound 
political principles and to his own availability at such a time, 
more than a glowing encomium of the founder of the Republic. 
Now it was not merely a question of the rising tide of color, but 
of thoroughbred or mongrel — mongrelized political principles 
as well as blood. 193205 

Wilson took up his new work with a will, in order that the 
new book might be published before the Democratic 
convention. When, in the spring of 1896, he turned the 


manuscript over to his publisher, he was on the verge of a 
complete physical breakdown. It is especially significant that he 
called attention to the fact that there were thirteen letters in the 
names of both Geo. Washington and Woodrow 

Despite the great effort he had made, it was too late for the 
book to be published before autumn. His right arm was now 
crippled with neuritis. Was it in fact a partial paralysis? Upon 
the urgent advice of friends, he decided to seek rest during the 
summer, and go abroad for the first time. 

It was just at this time that a great book appeared in England. 
Since the appearance of Carnegie's, Marx's and Kropotkin's 
works, Lecky had been thinking deeply upon democracy. To 
what extent was it really a guarantee of human happiness? This 
question he attempted to answer in Liberty and Democracy. His 
conclusion was that while popular government offered the best 
prospect of happiness, it might also prove an intolerable 
tyranny where the government was controlled by selfish 
interests, as in many of the existing so-called democratic states. 
When this occurred, radicalism was as inevitable as in the case 
of autocratic states. 

Marburg was all the more convinced that great reforms 
must be accomplished in America. Having returned to America 
early in 1896, he had, like Carnegie, been laboring ceaselessly 
to prevent any recurrence of such an incident as that which had 
taken place the year before between Britain and America. As 
the temper of the Nation cooled, thinking men everywhere saw 
that a conflict between the English speaking peoples would be 
fatal. Thus, in April, 1896, following the recommendation of 
the International Law Association, the Bar Association of the 
State of New York adopted, at a special meeting in Albany, a 
plan for the establishment of a permanent international tribunal 
such as that which had been first proposed in Massachusetts in 
1832 by the Pacifists, and eight years later by Victor Hugo. 
Great minds were behind all this, including Joseph 


H. Choate and Elihu Root, perhaps the foremost lawyers in 
America, to whom Carnegie had ready access. 

Meantime it had been easy for a man of Marburg's wealth to 
ally himself with the Republican organization. Having fortified 
his theories by studies abroad, he took the field as a 
pamphleteer early in the presidential campaign. In a striking 
article entitled The World's Money Problem which appeared in 
the Baltimore American, he tore asunder Bryan's half-baked 
monetary theories. His arguments plainly reflected the 
influences of Johns Hopkins, of Oxford, of the Bank of 
England, of the Ecole Politique and of Carnegie. Reprinted over 
and over in the press, Bryan saw in it the forces being arrayed 
against him. It was, he believed, the old story of Lombard 
Street, over again. 12 

In Thierry's Socialistic France, his practiced eye had 
unearthed the glittering phrase of an obscure Socialist delegate 
to the Convention preceding the French Revolution — "Thou 
shalt not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold. " With that same 
phrase, addressed to the Republican Bourbons of America, "The 
Boy Orator of the Platte" was to sweep the Democratic 
Convention off its feet, and secure the presidential nomination. 

Printed in booklet form, Marburg's gold plea was widely 
distributed at a popular price by the Republican National 
Committee. At once it marked him as one of the foremost 
monetary experts in America, as well as one of the world's 
leading economists and internationalists. How much had he to 
do with the split in the Democratic party resulting in the 
Palmer-Buckner Democratic gold ticket? 

Although Wilson's mind was not that of an economist, and 
he never mastered the theory of bi-metallism, no one read The 
World's Money Problem more approvingly. It served to draw 
him to Marburg more closely. Visiting the British Isles, he 
spent much of his vacation searching out the homes of his 
ancestors in Scotland. Nevertheless one might assume from the 
diary he wrote with his left hand that he was a native of 
England. George Washington appeared soon after his return 
from Europe in the early autumn. A beautiful piece of writing, it 
was, as a historical 


work, disappointing. An out and out appeal to the Nationalism 
invoked by Harrison and Cleveland, it was weak in its 
sentimentality. It closed with a quotation from the Happy 
Warrior, by means of which William Bayard Hale, who knew 
Wilson intimately, but did not know his purpose in writing the 
book, claims that Wilson undertook to glorify the virtues in 
Washington which he thought himself to possess. In an 
exhaustive analysis of Wilson's writings, he rated him not as a 
pathological case, but as abnormally egotistical. He also insisted 
that Wilson was writing to sound rather than to reason. 96 Be this 
as it may, the book was shot through with egregious errors of 
fact. On the other hand, it reflected Wilson's old misconceptions 
of American origins. He even committed the almost grotesque 
blunder of making Washington long, at one time, to return to 
his home in England! Nor did he deal in any way with the 
perplexing social and economic situations which were of such 
deep concern to Marburg, Bryce, Lecky, and others. 

But whatever his motives, and his defects as a historian, 
George Washington proved that, like Marburg, he was no 
supine pacifist. Still an ardent Federalist, he had not hesitated to 
ridicule some of Jefferson's humanistic theories as illusory 
vaporings. Plainly he was preaching against Bryan, disputing 
his leadership. Consequently his first historical work served to 
make him more popular at Princeton, where he was now 
deemed a conservative, as compared with Bryan and the 
Southern and Western Democrats. 

Nor did he fail to see, in the invitation to deliver the oration 
at the Princeton Sesqui-Centennial during the autumn, a new 
opportunity to appeal to the country by exalting the ideals of 
"Old Nassau" in language that was superb. Everywhere the 
address was printed and reprinted by the alumni, who began to 
hail "Woody" as the lion of the Princeton world. Here was the 
man, Bridges and Wilson's other friends declared, to lead the 
Democratic party away from Bryanism. Once fixed among the 
alumni, the idea that he was "an idealist" expanded like a 
rolling snowball. It seemed to indicate that this "Professor on 
Horseback" was something above the ordinary run of men. 



The War with Spain and the End of American Isolation. 
Imperialism Rampant. Marburg Plans to Enforce Peace. The 
First Hague Peace Conference. The Boer War. "The United 
States of Europe" Proposed. The Principle of International 
Cooperation Applied in China. Marburg's Theory of 
Expansion. Bryan as the "Apostle of Peace." Wilson 
Contemplates Attending Heidelberg with Marburg. 
Cleveland Comes to Princeton. Wilson Elected President of 

THE EGLANTINE of today is the cultivated rose of tomor- 
row. Only the law of change is changeless. Even the 
celestial universe finds a record of its habits in the 
pyramids. As the world ages, along with the enduring 
monuments to human wisdom, more and more are men prone to 
enquire if there be anything new under the sun. High up in the 
hills of Macedon at the dawn of European history, a little boy 
had sat at the knee of Aristotle, imbibing the knowledge which 
made of him a greater conqueror than his father. The efforts of 
Alexander to reduce the universe to his sway were futile. It was 
but a few centuries before a humble Jew, endowed with more 
wisdom than the wisest Greeks, proclaimed that there could be 
but one universal kingdom — a kingdom of the spirit. Still, 
however, as the Nineteenth Century drew to a close, the minds 
of men remained unconquered by the words of Jesus, just as in 
the days when William the Silent, Raleigh, and Henry of 
Navarre sat at the knee of Coligny, just as when Alexander I 
listened to the teachings of Laharpe. Long before it was ever 
imagined that Woodrow Wilson would prove the human 
instrument for the salvation of mankind, others had begun to 
formulate a scheme not 


merely for the encouragement but for the enforcement of 
universal peace. 

As society becomes more civilized, the charm of gold seems 
to enhance, its power to increase. It is something no one can 
combat successfully. Bryan's was indeed a hopeless task — the 
defeat of McKinley, ably supported by Mark Hanna at the head 
of the capitalists, while his own party was split asunder by the 
Gold Democrats. His following was a peculiarly noisy one, but 
the more hullabuloo the anarchists, socialists, populists and 
other radicals raised, the harder and more silently the great 
banks, brokerage houses, insurance companies, and corporate 
interests, now thoroughly alarmed, worked through their 
countless agencies against Bryanism. The instant 
encouragement with which Carnegie and Marburg met in 
organizing international finance to make it an articulate force in 
world politics, is evidenced by the monetary reforms in Russia 
and in Austria, immediately following Bryan's defeat. These 
were significant events in the world of finance, intimately 
connected, of course, with those in America. 

Wilson was much pleased by the defeat of Bryan. Weary of 
teaching, and yearning even more ardently for a political 
opportunity, he saw a better prospect for himself. Accordingly, 
he now set out to write his long contemplated History of the 
American People. In it, he proposed to present his whole 
political philosophy to the enlarged audience he now 

Under the pressure of the Internationalists, Cleveland, soon 
after the election, opened negotiations with Downing Street, 
resulting on January 11, 1897, in the execution of a new Anglo- 
American treaty; and in his inaugural address, McKinley urged 
its ratification. Arbitration, the latter declared, was the way to 
end war. Then, with a powerful, capitalistic minded cabinet 
headed by Day, he set out at once to deal with the complicated 
South American, Cuban, and Pacific situations. Despite his 
efforts, however, the Senate, responsive to anti-British 
sentiment, refused to ratify the new treaty. 

Meantime the Pacifists of the world had called the 


Interparliamentary Conference on Arbitration, to meet in 
Brussels during the summer of 1897. Weary of talk about 
peace, Stead now published his Despairing Democracy — a 
startling sequel to Carnegie, Bryce, and Lecky, in the form of a 
satire on democracy as it was being practiced. Pointing to "its 
utter ineffectiveness" in the face of Anarchist and proletarian 
activities, he insisted that it was contributing nothing to peace 
and good will on earth. As if to support his arguments, while 
Kitchener was engaged in "pacifying" the Soudan, and Britain 
and France were fixing their hold more firmly upon Africa, the 
United States, in 1898, declared war upon Spain, the situation 
in Cuba having become a menace to civilization. 

By force of circumstances, an unavoidable war with Spain 
had launched the Republic irrevocably upon a career of 
imperialism. Now at last with John Hay as Secretary of State, 
and Henry White as Ambassador to St. James, negotiations 
were renewed with Great Britain, resulting in the submission of 
the Venezuela dispute to arbitration under the original treaty, 
on March 5, 1898. 

Knowing that Salisbury and not democracy had averted an 
Anglo-American war in 1895, Marburg had asked himself over 
and over why it was that, despite the great peace movement of 
the past century, the efforts of the Pacifists had proved abortive, 
why war was still marching hand in hand with Pacifism? He 
discussed it fruitlessly with Bryce, Lecky, and Stead. 

Like Sumner, Stead favored declaring war on war. As he 
saw it, international politics merely reflected the underlying 
economic ills, while much of the warfare that was going on, 
was directly due to the economic jealousies which found 
expression in the narrowing nationalisms of the Nineteenth 
Century.* In other words, he believed that varying tariffs and 
monetary systems favoring one country at the expense of others, 
were the sole source of international troubles, and that so long 
as they remained, warfare would continue; that because they 
had become more com- 

* Foreign Trade and World Politics, Fraser. 


plex, national jealousies had intensified, wars had become more 
frequent, more highly organized, and, with the advance of 
science, more terrible and destructive. 

Looking at the recorded history of five thousand years, he 
concluded that peace had been established by mankind, and its 
area widened in one way only. First, individuals had combined 
their efforts to suppress violence in the local community. Then 
communities had cooperated to maintain the authoritative state, 
and to preserve peace within its borders. Finally, states had 
formed leagues or confederations, or had otherwise cooperated 
to establish peace among themselves; and always peace had 
been made and kept, when made and kept at all, by the power 
of superior numbers acting in unison for the common good. 
Surely, thought Marburg, Napoleon was right when he said that 
peace in Europe could only be reestablished and maintained by 
a league of nations to enforce peace, such as that which the 
Swiss, the Iroquois, and the Patriot Fathers in America had 
founded. Therefore he deemed it absurd merely to go on 
theorizing like Carnegie, Bryce, and Lecky about the de- 
mocratization of the world as the means of establishing 
universal peace. Obviously the South American Republics, 
despite their names, were among the most autocratic and 
militaristic states in existence. Was real democracy not 
necessarily, as declared by Wilson, a matter of slow growth? 

These arguments seemed, as far as they went, irrefutable, 
but they advanced peace no further than Carnegie had done by 
pleading for the democratization of the world. Napoleon and 
Alexander I had both failed to coerce the world into an 
acceptance of their theories of what was best for it. The 
question was, therefore, how could Marburg and Stead do this? 

It was then that a great thought came to Marburg. Was it not 
useless to think of war and peace, these days, merely in the old 
terms? What of the war which Owen, Proudhon, Marx and 
Kropotkin had, each in turn, declared upon society? Had 
experience not shown that La Revoke, the Anarchist war on the 
capitalistic order, and the proletarian 


revolution proclaimed in the Communist Manifesto, were 
spreading faster than democracy? Were nationalistic wars 
greater cause for alarm? Even if a league of capitalistic states 
were formed to enforce peace on other capitalistic states, as 
proposed by Stead, would not anarchy and the proletarian 
revolution continue within the league until Capitalism were 

Now it was that Marburg saw the light. Neither Napoleon 
nor Alexander I had the aids presently available to those who 
would form a league to enforce peace. Where was the man who 
could define the exact boundary between democracy, as 
practiced in England and America, and the political socialism of 
the Fabians, Jaures, and Millerand? Was not this thing called 
political socialism, as distinguished from the Social Democracy 
or the Communism of Germany, and the Menshevism of 
Russia, like a jack-rabbit — always a jump ahead? Had not the 
British and American states already been socialized to an extent 
never dreamed of by Saint-Simon, Comte and Blanc? And was 
not the anarchy of Proudhon, Bakunin, and Kropotkin, the 
radicalism of Marx, and of this new Russian exile in England — 
Lenin — who was one of the most learned men in the world, 
more the reaction of autocracy than the result of political 
socialism? France seemed to prove this. Surely the way for the 
capitalists to democratize the world was to cease branding the 
Socialists proper, who were essentially internationalists, as 
anarchists and communists, and instead to enlist their aid in a 
joint fight against the Reds just as the French had done. 

Then there were the Jews, an all pervasive and increasingly 
powerful race, who could no longer be ignored politically. 
Ignorance and the prejudices born of it, intolerance and 
repression, had also made them a danger which only an 
intelligent compromise could overcome. During the past two 
thousand years, social processes had not only scattered them 
widely over the world, but had tended to consolidate them in 
racial blocs within the states where they were to be found in 
large numbers. Moreover, under the social and economic 
systems of Europe which 


encouraged continued persecution, especially in Russia, few 
pursuits had been left open to them. These had principally to do 
with trade and money. Consequently, they had come to devote 
themselves in the course of time, more, perhaps, than any other 
race to the business of finance. Centuries of experience had 
made it peculiarly congenial to them. It was, naturally, in the 
more democratic societies of England, France, and America, 
where legalized or open persecution was not possible, that they 
had thriven the most, and come to exercise the greatest 
influence. Lacking, nevertheless, a separate political 
organization that might be called a Jewish state, these 
intellectually gifted people were inherently internationalists like 
the Socialists, while peculiarly powerful in the world of 
international finance. Their interest in peace was deep, since 
they suffered most from the economic wastefulness of useless 
wars. Therefore they could, by proper direction, be made to 
exert a commanding influence upon the world. Governments 
such as those of Russia, Germany, Austria, France, and Italy, 
might be able to sustain themselves against each other, while 
suppressing the radicals with the aid of militarism. But were 
they not, in maintaining vast armaments, dependent upon the 
bankers of the world? 

What then if Carnegie and his unlimited wealth, the 
international financiers, and the Socialists could be organized in 
a movement to compel the formation of a league to enforce 
peace? Surely it would not be difficult to bring about a union of 
these forces with the Pacifists, through the medium of a great 
humanist propaganda carried on with Carnegie's money, which 
would appeal to them all alike! If this were done, how could 
there be any more gold levies like that of 1871 by the victors on 
the vanquished? Would not the money markets of the world 
then be stabilized? And how could any one Power finance a 
really destructive war against another? How could Great 
Britain, or Russia, or Germany, or Japan make a grand 
appropriation of Chinese territory, Japan undertake to seize 
America's Pacific possessions or gain a footing on the Western 
Hemisphere, or the United States encroach further upon Latin 


Would there not be an end to Russian pogroms, and to the 
periodic massacres of Armenians by the Turks? Think of the 
countless millions of capital that would gradually be transferred 
from the maintenance of competing national armaments, and 
put to useful work in the field of productive industry! Surely 
then the capitalistic order would be secure. In short, Marburg 
concluded that the liberalization of the governments of the 
world through the medium of a league of nations, with power 
residing in the hands of the international financiers to control its 
councils and enforce peace, would prove a specific for all the 
political ills of mankind! 

This plan which unfolds from the numerous writings of 
Marburg, was one which could not be concretely expressed, 
since it required a certain amount of secrecy in its execution. 
Apparently, too, there was a fatal inconsistency in trying to 
combine international finance, essentially conservative, with 
Socialism. Moreover, neither the Socialists nor the Russian 
reactionaries, were prepared for Jewish leadership in the field of 
international politics. It was imperative, therefore, that its 
financial aspects be screened, that the money interests behind it 
be held under cover, that the whole movement be cloaked with 
the guise of pure humanism. In other words, much must be said 
of humanity, of human rights, of peace and democracy, since in 
these the Pacifists, the Socialists, and the masses generally 
would find their motives; little of Socialism, money or finance. 
In short, the scheme must be whispered only to those whose 
knowledge of history and international politics would enable 
them to grasp its practicability, who could recognize the need of 
appearing to be working only for universal peace, while 
educating the world up to an internationalism that would 
demand political sacrifices on the part of the nations. 
Obviously, for any man like Bryan to get hold of it, would be 
fatal to the project. 

It was a truly grand conception, even if only a banker's 
dream. In his enthusiasm, Marburg, like Napoleon who set out 
to conquer the world, or Alexander I who essayed to pacify it, 
did not foresee the obstacles which human na- 


ture, with its rapacity and varying ambitions, would interpose 
in the way of its realization. Particularly, he failed to foresee 
the danger of consolidating the radicals by giving them an 
international unity of purpose. 

In addition to the Hawaiian Islands, the United States had 
finally acquired Porto Rico, Guam, the Philippines, and, 
nominally, Tutuila. Thus it had in a trice become inextricably 
involved with the Orient. In intimate contact with Japan and the 
European Powers at a score of points, all the old economic and 
political barriers upon which its traditional isolation had 
depended, had fallen with amazing suddenness. Conscious that 
they were a great world power but unconscious of their danger, 
the American people gloried in what they now conceived to be 
their destiny. Well might the Pacifists have despaired of 

But the battle of Manila Bay, in which the last vestige of 
Spanish seapower in the Pacific was destroyed by Dewey, was 
attended by an event of peculiar significance. Not only did the 
land of Amerigo Vespucci now take possession of the remote 
region which Magellan had seized in the name of Philip, but 
again the British were to stand by America against Germany, as 
they had previously done in Samoa. When a powerful German 
warship deliberately placed itself between Dewey's obsolete 
flagship and the Spanish fleet, a British cruiser at once cleared 
for action to support Dewey. Again the "Limeys" had 
voluntarily come to the aid of the "Gobs" — a small thing as the 
historians see it, but in fact an event of tremendous import. 

To one who understood such things, the "itching" of the 
Kaiser to oppose Britain and America in the Pacific, and to 
dispute the growth of French and Russian power in the East, 
seemed obvious. Marburg made the best possible use of the 
incident. Was it not evident that Britain, America, and France, 
must act at once? 

Apparently it did not take him long to convince 
Carnegie, Stead, Bryce, and the Fabians and Internationalists 
generally. A plan of procedure was rapidly evolved. It being 
evident that both Germany and Japan were 


likely to assail Russia which, with the Siberian railway and the 
railways to the German border uncompleted, was not prepared 
for war, the Czar might easily be persuaded through self-interest 
to call for a world peace conference. No effort was to be made 
to break through the cordon of reactionaries which surrounded 
him, or to open his eyes to the fact that, in the event of a great 
war, the Radicals would almost certainly cooperate with his 
enemies to overthrow the established order in Russia. He was to 
be urged not merely to prevent a great capitalistic war, but to 
save the capitalistic system! Meanwhile the British, American, 
and French Governments were to be prepared to give the Czar 
the fullest possible moral support against Germany and Japan, 
and thereby either compel them and their allies to unite in the 
general effort, or suffer moral isolation. The Hague, capitol of 
Holland, and the home of Grotius, the father of International 
Law, was selected as the appropriate place for the conference. 

The Internationalists worked rapidly. McKinley, Hay, 
Cleveland, Olney, Bryan, Nicholas Murray Butler, President of 
Columbia and of the American Peace Society, Charles Eliot, 
President of Harvard, Lyman Abbott, Editor of The Outlook, 
and a host of other eminent workers for peace, had been secretly 
prepared for the Czar's call. On August 24, 1899, the Imperial 
Rescript was, with dramatic suddenness, published to the 
diplomatic corps in St. Petersburg by Count Mouraviev, the 
Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs. 

"The maintenance of general peace, and a possible re- 
duction of the excessive armaments which weigh upon all 
nations, present themselves, in the existing condition of the 
whole world, as the ideal towards which the endeavors of all 
Governments should be directed. 

"The humanitarian and magnanimous ideas of His Majesty 
the Emperor, my august Master, have been won over to this 
view. In the conviction that this lofty aim is in conformity with 
the most essential interests and the legitimate views of all 
Powers, the Imperial Government thinks that the present 
moment would be very favorable 


for seeking, by means of international discussion, the most 
effectual means of insuring to all peoples the benefits of a real 
and durable peace and, above all, of putting an end to the 
progressive development of the present armaments. 

"In the course of the last twenty years, the longings for a 
general appeasement have become especially pronounced in the 
consciences of civilized nations. The preservation of peace has 
been put forward as the object of international policy; in its 
name, great States have concluded between themselves 
powerful alliances; it is the better to guarantee peace that they 
have developed, in proportions hitherto unprecedented, their 
military forces, and still continue to increase them without 
shrinking from any sacrifice. 

"All these efforts have, nevertheless, not yet been able to 
bring about the beneficent result of the desired pacification. The 
financial charges following an upward march strike at the 
public prosperity at its very source. 

"The intellectual and physical strength of the nations, labor 
and capital, are for the major part diverted from their natural 
application, and unproductively consumed. Hundreds of 
millions are devoted to acquiring terrible engines of 
destruction, which, though today regarded as the last word of 
science, are destined tomorrow to lose all value, in consequence 
of some fresh discovery in the same field. 

"National culture, economic progress, and the production of 
wealth are either paralyzed or checked in their development. 
Moreover, in proportion as the armaments of each Power 
increase, so do they less and less fulfill the object which the 
Governments have set before themselves. 

"The economic crises, due in great part to the system of 
armaments a l'outrance, and the continual danger which lies in 
this massing of war material, are transforming the armed peace 
of our days into a crushing burden, which the peoples have 
more and more difficulty in bearing. It appears evident, then, 
that if this state of things were prolonged, it would inevitably 
lead to the very cataclysm which it is desired to avert, and the 
horrors of which make every thinking man shudder in 

* Italics added. 


"To put an end to these incessant armaments and to seek the 
means of warding off the calamities which are threatening the 
whole world — such is the supreme duty which is today imposed 
on all States. 

"Filled with this idea, His Majesty has been pleased to order 
me to propose to all the Governments whose representatives are 
accredited to the Imperial Court, the meeting of a conference 
which would have to occupy itself with this grave problem. 

"This conference should be, by the help of God, a happy 
presage for the century which is about to open. It would 
converge in one powerful focus, the efforts of all States which 
are sincerely seeking to make the great idea of universal peace 
triumph over the elements of trouble and discord. 

"It would, at the same time, confirm their agreement by the 
solemn establishment of the principles of justice and right, upon 
which repose the security of States and the welfare of peoples. " 

This proclamation indicated not only the parties who had 
been arguing with the Czar, and winning him over, but the 
economic as well as the humanitarian arguments which had 
been employed. 

Coming as a complete surprise, the Czar's appeal made a 
profound impression upon the world. He was hailed by the 
Capitalistic interests with applause everywhere except in 
Germany. There Prussian Junkers and Militarists denounced 
what they deemed a mere trick. To them the abandonment of 
militarism meant the turning over of the Government to the 
Socialists and Social Democrats. "Is it not manifest," they cried, 
"that this is but a scheme to disarm the Empire, and place it at 
the mercy of those who are jealous of its power?" Therefore the 
War Lord, under pressure of the Militarists, set out to defeat, by 
obstructionist tactics, the program of the Internationalists. The 
new Internationalism, with the Vatican squarely behind it, had 
nevertheless been promulgated with the utmost eclat. 

Marburg's next move was the publication, late in 1898, of 
his War With Spain, in which he combated with char- 


acteristic skill, the arguments of the anti-Imperialists. American 
Imperialism was, like gravity, a force for which no party, no 
individual, was responsible. The nation was determined to 
expand for economic reasons, and this could not be prevented. 
Therefore the thing to do was to recognize this as a fact, and 
expand with as little danger as possible — in other words, with 
the whole force of the nation behind the Government. The new 
dependencies must be developed, given the power of self- 
defense, and won over to the United States in every reasonable 
way. The independence of the Philippines was a matter to be 
considered in the future, when they were fitted for self- 
government, and would no longer be the mere prey of other 
powers. Meantime they must not be exploited, lest they become 
a source of danger. Thus cogently he argued, pointing out that 
the time had come for America to take its appropriate part, as a 
great world power, in international affairs, and especially in the 
movement for peace. The present narrow Nationalism, he 
concluded, was a positive danger to the Republic. 

On January 11, 1899, Muraviev, referring to the cordial 
reception of the Czar's appeal, issued a circular outlining a plan 
of procedure, designed to overcome Germany's objections to the 
proposed conference, by excluding the political relations of the 
Powers from consideration. The anticipated result was obtained. 
The Militarists of Germany might have been able to resist the 
demands of the Socialists alone, but not the combination of 
bankers and Socialists which now demanded that the Kaiser 
cooperate. May 18th, the Czar's birthday, was set for the 
meeting of the Conference at the Hague, and, on April 18th, 
Hay designated Andrew D. White, Seth Low, Stanford Newell, 
Captain Alfred T. Mahan, U. S. N., Captain William Crozier, U. 
S. A., and Frederick W. Holls, as the American representatives, 
and gave them their instructions. At the appointed time, one 
hundred delegates assembled at the Hague, representing twenty- 
six nations, including Germany. Italy objected to the 
representation of the Vatican, and Great Britain to that of the 
Transvaal, as separate Powers, while among 


the Latin American states, only Mexico responded. Baron de 
Stael of Russia was elected presiding officer. 

On this very day the Kaiser attended a banquet in Wies- 
baden, to which the Russian Ambassador, Count Osten-Sacken 
was invited. 

"Every year I offer my toast," said William of Hohen- 
zollern, "to the health of his Majesty, the Emperor of Russia, 
with deep feeling. Today I add to it my heartiest good wishes 
for the success of the conference which owes its inception to his 
Majesty's initiative." He then expressed the hope that Baron de 
Stael and Count Munster — his own representative — might 
conduct the conference according to the "established tradition" 
which he declared united his house to that of the Czar, the 
German to the Russian people. He closed with three hurrahs for 
the Emperor Nicholas. 8 

Things seemed to be going well for the Internationalists. 
Was it accidental that Wilson again visited Europe while the 
Conference was in session? 

Its conclusions were embodied in a final act, which included 
three conventions and three declarations. A Permanent Court 
for the pacific adjustment of international disputes, a 
Commission of Enquiry, good offices, and mediation were 
established. But Germany would enter into no disarmament 
pact, no peace agreement. Thereupon another conference was 
recommended, and, on July the 29th, the proceedings came to 
an end; at least a general war had been postponed, and the 
foundations of an international association had been laid.* It 
now remained to educate Germany, and thereby generate such 
pressure upon the Kaiser for a general accord, that he would be 
unable to resist the growing demand. 

Hardly had the Conference dissolved, when the Boer war 
commenced. Now the Kaiser disclosed his real feelings toward 
Britain in a speech appealing for a more powerful fleet. 84 
Obviously his previous words were but rhetoric. The purpose of 
Germany seemed plain. The words of Heine-last of the German 
romanticists — were still ringing in the 

* For details see The Hague, Peace Conferences of 1899 and 
1897, Scott, etc. 


ears of the German Militarists. "Not only Alsace and Lorraine 
must be ours, but France must be crushed!" 

With Joseph H. Choate, as Ambassador to St. James, and 
Elihu Root, another great corporation lawyer, as Secretary of 
War, Hay protested vigorously the evident purpose of the 
Powers to divide up China. The Americans, too, wanted the 
door of trade left open to them, hence Hay's new doctrine of the 
"open door." 

Stead was disgusted with this kind of democracy, and 
particularly with Germany. If she would not accept peace, she 
ought to be forced to do so. Therefore, borrowing Victor Hugo's 
title of United States of Europe, he outlined to the world, in a 
remarkable article first published in the Nation, Marburg's 
scheme of a league of nations to enforce peace. Only through a 
World Court backed by an international police, could justice be 
done, he declared. It was Sumner all over again! 

Ten years before, Wilson had noted in the growth of 
arbitration, a political tendency toward international association. 
In this new internationalism, he discerned great promise. Like 
many others, he believed that in the realm of international peace 
lay a great opportunity for an American statesman. 209 Nor did 
he fail to detect that the peace which the Capitalistic 
Internationalists were really seeking, involved, though they 
dared not say it, the suppression of radicalism. With this object 
in mind, Bryce now declared that Roosevelt was the hope of 
American politics, for it had long since been evident that the 
"Hero of San Juan Hill" would never compromise with Bryan, 
Anarchism, Socialism or Pacifism. 211 

In 1900, Tutuila was finally acquired by the United States — 
another step to the "open door." As to the significance of this, 
the Chinese and Japanese were not deceived. It may well have 
helped to incite the popular uprising this same year, in which 
the Boxers undertook to expel the "Foreign Devils," and close 
the door of China to them. This, of course, the Great Powers did 
not propose to permit. Therefore, in as much as each was 
jealous of the others, they all, including the United States, 
despatched separate 


military expeditions to China to cooperate in the restoration of 
order, make the world safe for their trade in the East, and at the 
same time guard against the others. The Europeans and 
Americans were never quite sure about Japan's part in trying to 
turn them out of China. 

At any rate, this was the first modern application of the 
principle advocated by Stead of enforcing peace. The manner in 
which it was initiated was scarcely auspicious for the Chinese, 
from the standpoint of International altruism. After the German 
Minister had been killed by the Boxers, the Kaiser, addressing 
the troops which he was despatching to Peking, said, in July, 
1900: "Use your weapons in such a way that for a thousand 
years no Chinese shall dare to look askance upon a German. 
Show your manliness." To one regiment, he added: "On the 
strength of the oath to the flag which you have sworn, I demand 
that you give no quarter, that no prisoners be taken, for you 
shall be the avengers of the abomination which has been 
committed in this present time." 84 

So were the European troops, nineteen hundred years after 
Christ, urged by a Christian potentate to emulate those who 
followed Richard of the Lion Heart to Palestine in the days of 
Saladin, and to outdo Attila. The Hohenzol-lern proposal was 
almost as inhumane as that of Jefferson to destroy London 
through the arson of traitors. 

The "Boy Orator of the Platte" was no longer enthusiastic 
over Free Silver. He was now the great anti-Imperialist and 
exponent of the Socialistic principle of government ownership. 
Having resigned the commission of colonel in the National 
Guard in 1898, conscious of his grotesque failure as a military 
man, he had come to cherish the title of "Apostle of Peace." He 
too had sensed the political implications of both the proletarian 
revolution and the world peace movement. 

In this year, Wilson was first discussed as likely Presi- 
dential timber by a small group of intellectuals, including his 
old friends Page and Bridges. As a mere professor, the political 
leaders paid little attention to him. McKinley and Bryan were 
renominated. Roosevelt, the hero of San Juan 


Hill, an imperialist and exponent of a large army and navy, was 
the former's running mate. 

It was during the ensuing campaign that Marburg published 
his Expansion. America's new dependencies, he insisted, must 
be retained. Was it not the Nation's duty to hold the Philippines 
in trust for their people, rather than abandon them as urged by 
Bryan? Abandonment would only mean their seizure by Japan 
or Germany, and a consequent war. 

While the Bryanites and Socialists made considerable noise, 
McKinley and Roosevelt were elected easily. Thereupon 
William Howard Taft was appointed President of the United 
States Philippine Commission, charged with the task of 
establishing a civil administration, and making this new 
dependency safe for democracy. Little more than a year had 
elapsed when an anarchistic madman assassinated McKinley. 
Amidst great popular outcry against the radicals, Roosevelt 
succeeded to the Presidency, and at once set out to make more 
effective the Interstate Commerce and Sherman Anti-Trust Acts 
of Cleveland and Harrison, to curb monopolies, to make the 
government more responsive to the people, and to conserve the 
national resources. Determined to hold on to the Philippines at 
all costs, he appointed Taft Civil Governor in 1901. While Root 
was reorganizing and modernizing the Army, the Navy was 
also modernized. Nor had Roosevelt any idea of leaving the 
Pacific coast and possessions exposed. Therefore, Hay, together 
with Pauncefote, the British Ambassador, secured the 
abrogation of the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty of 1850, and 
substituted a new treaty with provisions permitting the United 
States to proceed with the building of the Panama Canal. This, 
of course, had the approval of all trade interests. 

Wilson witnessed these events with mingled feelings. For 
himself, he saw no present political opportunity whatever. 
Marburg was at Heidelberg where, with his insatiable craving 
for knowledge, he had gone to study German Socialism and 
Social Democracy. Returning to his old plan of studying 
politics in Germany, Wilson was on the point of 


applying for a year's leave of absence from Princeton to go to 
Heidelberg too. Had Marburg, who was afraid of Roosevelt and 
did not like him much more than Bryan, been urging Wilson to 
join him? 

At this juncture, Grover Cleveland was induced to accept 
appointment on the Princeton Board of Trustees, and take up 
his residence at Princeton. A change in the presidency of the 
university was being more and more insistently demanded by 
the Progressives, who had brought Cleveland there. Word had 
gone out among the Democrats that Bryan would never be 
nominated again. Perhaps Cleveland could be induced to help 
Wilson. Therefore Page, Bridges, and other friends dissuaded 
Wilson from absenting himself at such a time. 

Cleveland had left a great record as a conservative of 
unimpeachable integrity. As ex-President he was much beloved. 
An immense asset to Princeton, he had made it a sort of Mecca 
for Republicans and Independents of eminence, as well as 
Democrats. From the first, he and Wilson were friendly, but 
never intimate. Some said that Wilson felt he was being 
overshadowed. Suddenly the long desired change came. In 
1902, Patton resigned as President, and, with the support of 
Cleveland, Woodrow Wilson was elected, at the age of forty- 
five, President of Princeton University! The South, ignorant of 
Wilson's verbal and written denials of Southern affiliations, 
applauded the choice. Davidson College, the University of 
Virginia, and Johns Hopkins all claimed him as an alumnus, 
Staunton, Augusta, Columbia, Wilmington, and Atlanta as a 
native son! All celebrated vociferously the rise of "this true son 
of the South." Cleveland and the Princetonians smiled and ac- 
cepted him as the pure product of "Old Nassau." So the country 
contended for this man but lately obscure, and despairing of 



Harvey's Plan to Make Wilson President. Carnegie Donates 
the Peace Palace. The Lake Mohonk Peace Conference. The 
Principle of Arbitration Established. The South Hostile to 
Wilson. The Position of Japan. Harvey Proclaims Wilson as 
the Democratic Moses. The Conciliation Internationale and 
the American Association for International Conciliation. 
Roosevelt Sends the Fleet to the Orient. The Second Hague 
Peace Conference. The Central American Court of Justice. 
Wilson's Troubles at Princeton. Branded "Intellectually 
Dishonest" by Cleveland. His Dismissal Demanded. Homer 
Lea and the Yellow Peril. Fearful of War and Still Hoping 
for a Third Party, Wilson Hesitates to Commit Himself to 
the Democratic "Boss" of New Jersey. The American 
Society for Judicial Settlement of International Disputes. 
Taft Advocates a World Court. Roosevelt and Knox Propose 
a League to Enforce Peace. Wilson Elected Governor. 

THE SUCCESS of the Internationalists' project depended 
largely upon its leader. Marburg might conceive it, might 
direct it from behind the scenes, but he was not the one to 
stand before the world as its authoritative sponsor. So too, 
Carnegie might support it with his vast wealth, but his character 
as a capitalist disqualified him for the post. The movement 
demanded neither an autocrat of the Napoleon or Alexander 
type, nor the Czar who had first successfully sponsored it. It 
called for a great democratic humanitarian with the soul of a 
Spinoza or a Kant, who might, with the golden words of another 
Jefferson, appeal to the heart as well as to the mind of mankind. 
Not in the spirit of Vattel but in that of Grotius must he set up 


new standards, formulate new laws for humanity — make the old 
humanities more human! 

Knowing Wilson's political ambitions, the devoted Page and 
Bridges, both now editors of eminence, had begun to work for 
his political advancement. Without being parties to the 
Internationalist scheme, they saw that Wilson's inauguration as 
President of Princeton — stronghold of conservative democracy 
and home of Grover Cleveland, the greatest Democrat of his 
age — was the psychological moment for him to assume a 
leading role as educator and statesman.' He must displace 
forever the "Great Commoner" who, with his unsound 
economy, socialistic proposals, and supine pacifism, had all but 
destroyed the party of Jefferson, Jackson, and Cleveland. At the 
end of three months, they had, aided by other friends, prepared 
the world to listen to Wilson. 

George Harvey, brilliant editor of Harper's Weekly, and, 
with Page, a former reporter on the New York World under 
Pulitzer, the friend of international finance, had been seeking 
for years a leader to succeed Bryan. Harvey was an out and out 
Nationalist, and definitely anti-Socialist. "Better take a look at 
Wilson. We are going to publish his new work this Autumn. 
He's a spell-binder. " So said Harper, the owner of the magazine, 
to Harvey. Accordingly, the latter read the advance sheets of 
Wilson's History of the American People. Then he joined the 
throng assembled at Princeton to hear the brilliant intellectual, 
whom Page, in the World's Work, and other conservative 
Democratic editors were praising so loudly. 

Wilson knew, of course, that the political as well as the 
intellectual world was awaiting his words. He discerned the 
type of leader the Internationalists required, but realized, also, 
the difficulties in their way. There were dyed-in-the-wool 
Nationalists like Roosevelt in the Republican party, Bryanites in 
numbers among the Democrats. It was to the great mass of 
Independents, therefore, that the Internationalists must look for 
the success of their project. Believing that both parties were 
moribund as to principles, he had, himself, long been an 
independent. Yet it would be 


palpably fatal for him to commit himself outright to the 
Internationalists, or to estrange the Nationalists and Pacifists of 
either party, since it would take time to educate the country up 
to Carnegie's internationalism. Accordingly, keyed up by 
careful preparation to the opportunity which his anti-Bryanist 
Democratic friends had made for him, he pitched his address in 
tones high above the ordinary political appeal. 

"New standards in the national life as well as in education 
must be set up," he reiterated. "The old humanities must be 
made more human. " 

Wilson was both wise and shrewd. This was a declaration 
well calculated to satisfy Democrats and Republicans alike. 
Was it not what both Roosevelt and the Anti-Bryan Democrats 
had been saying? 

Yet nobody seemed to grasp that it was also what Carnegie, 
Marburg, and the Internationalists had been saying! 

Carnegie and Marburg heard Wilson's words. They had 
already noted him as a rising political figure. Yet he still rested 
under the disability of not belonging to the dominant political 
party. Since it seemed destined long to control the Government, 
it was through this party that they must seek to achieve their 
ends. For the present, at least, they must look elsewhere for a 
leader of the Internationalist project. Should Wilson definitely 
ally himself with the Republicans, he might, in time, prove 
useful to them. 

Harvey, on the other hand, heard Wilson's speech with a 
thrill of delight. "Real first page stuff," he remarked to Harper 
upon his return from Princeton. Thereupon he sent for all that 
Wilson had written, and found in it no pacifism of the supine 
Bryan type. Wilson differed in no way from the ordinary 
nationalistic historians — he had even written of the Mexican 
War, deliberately concocted and forced upon a weaker neighbor 
by the Southern Oligarchy of "Slavers," as a heroic episode. 
There could be no complaint of him by the Jingoes! The fact 
that he was not, and never had been, a Democrat troubled 
Harvey not at all. He was particularly glad that Wilson was not 
a Southerner. 


It would be easier for Page, Bridges, and himself to "put him 
over." His third party idea was, of course, as impractical as 
Marburg's notion of carrying the United States into a league of 
nations that would divest it of its independence. Transmogrified 
into a liberal Democrat, he would be the very man to lead the 
Democratic party away from its radicalisms, and out of the 
wilderness of its present despair. At the end of a week, Harvey 
said to Harper: "He'll do." 10if 

But Harvey recognized the impossibility of "putting Wilson 
over" at once. There was not a chance of defeating Roosevelt in 
1904, even through the overthrow of Bryan. As he figured it, 
Taft would almost certainly succeed Roosevelt in 1908, unless 
the "cow-boy" President elected to run again. Therefore, it was 
upon 1912 that he fixed his mind. That would give him just ten 
years in which to transmogrify and popularize Wilson. 
Meantime he proposed to make the governorship of New Jersey 
Wilson's stepping stone to the presidency. 108 

The presidency of Princeton came to Wilson as a great 
relief. It released him from the incessant labor of the past 
twenty years. His latest works, like George Washington and his 
History of the United States, would not live. "They are not 
history," said the critics,' "but what Wilson thinks of history." 
They contained no great lessons for the future. Yet they showed 
that he was strongly capitalistic in sentiment, and neither a 
pacifist, a Democrat, nor a Southerner in feeling. 

The year 1912 seemed a long way off to Wilson, nor was he 
willing to abandon the idea of a third party to commit himself 
to Harvey's scheme. Nevertheless he was altogether willing to 
have Harvey continue his brilliant publicity. Like that of Page 
and Bridges, it could not fail to popularize him with the 
Independents. True to his inaugural promises, he set out 
immediately upon a course of precedent smashing and 
educational reform at Princeton. 17 Cooperating with Harvey, 
Page, and Bridges, he began reaching for larger and larger 
political audiences, going further and further afield under the 

IS nc 

auspices of the alumni. ' Cleve- 


land, who was watching him carefully, and who was not in 
accord with all of his proposals, soon saw that his real object 
was more than that of a mere educational reformer. 

Although the Internationalists were now plainly dominating 
the world, Organized Labor was becoming more and more 
restless, especially in America. Numerous great strikes 
occurred. At the instance of Roosevelt, one of the most serious 
was settled by arbitration between the railway operators and the 
strikers. Yet any one could see that the Anarchists and other 
radicals of Europe, were behind much of the unrest. Samuel 
Gompers, a British-born Jew, who had formed the first 
international trade union, was, as President of the American 
Federation of Labor, becoming one of the powers in the land. 
Labor was learning much from the Internationalists — they too 
saw the power that came from united action along Socialistic 
lines. Surely it was not to be supposed that they would let the 
Capitalists monopolize the principle of federation. 

The Permanent Court of Arbitration at the Hague having 
been at last constituted, with Chief Justice Melville W. Fuller, 
the Hon. John W. Griggs, former Attorney General, Judge 
George Gray of the Circuit Court of Appeals, and Oscar S. 
Straus, Secretary of Commerce and Labor, as America's 
members, it received, in September, 1902, its first reference — a 
Mexican-American dispute. The following year, Daniel and 
Alfred K. Smiley, the great philanthropists, sent out a call for 
the First American Peace Conference to assemble at Lake 
Mohonk, where all manner of intellectual gatherings were wont 
to be held. The American Association for International 
Arbitration was at once formed, and delegates despatched to 
Washington to urge Roosevelt to approve the arbitral 
agreements with Great Britain and France, actually executed 
later in that year. It had been known even in 1899, that 
Carnegie, much impressed with the work of the First Hague 
Peace Conference, was prepared to establish a library of 
international law for the Hague Court. He now extended his 
original plan, and offered to place at the disposal of the Dutch 
$1,500,000 to build a home for the Court, in addition to the 
donation of 


the library, the two to constitute the Palace of Peace.* It was a 
magnificent gift, one which made Carnegie the outstanding 
worker for universal peace. 

Roosevelt had other ideas as to maintaining peace. The 
Colombian Government had refused to accept his offer for a 
ninety-nine year lease of the necessary strip for the Panama 
Canal. A convenient revolution occurred with his connivance 
in November, 1903, resulting in the formation of the Republic 
of Panama, and the prompt execution of the treaty requisite for 
building the canal! 

Hardly had this been done, when the Kishinev massacres in 
Russia shocked the world, and aroused the Jews of Western 
Europe and America. Knowing that the reactionaries 
surrounding the Czar would never present the Jewish petitions, 
Roosevelt sent them to the American Ambassador in St. 
Petersburg, with an accompaning letter in which their contents 
were recited, enquiring if the Czar would receive them. The 
latter was published and the Czar, of course, informed of what 
was going on. Thereupon the massacres ceased. 

Work on the Panama Canal had meanwhile commenced. 
Seeing that between Roosevelt and the Internationalists, she 
was about to lose her own opportunity to expand, Japan, 
without declaring war, assailed Russia in February, 1904. Some 
historians, however, believe Russia equally to blame for the 
war. The danger of allowing a Yellow Race to overthrow a 
powerful European state, a condition which a continuous 
succession of Japanese victories indicated as probable, 
influenced Congress to pass a resolution on April 28, 1904, 
calling on Roosevelt to take such action as he might deem best, 
to insure an understanding among the maritime Powers relative 
to the exemption of neutral shipping and of private property, 
not contraband of war, from capture or destruction at sea by 

This same year the Interparliamentary Union made the St. 
Louis World's Fair the occasion of another session in 
September, at which it passed resolutions calling on Roose- 

* The trust was eventually executed October 7, 1903. See 
the History of Peace, Beales, p. 273. 


velt to summon a second peace conference at the Hague. 
Thereupon Hay set out in October to sound out the neutral 

As anticipated by Harvey, Roosevelt was elected in 1904. 
The Democrats having thus received a third practical 
demonstration of the futility of Bryanism, Harvey visited 
Georgia — Wilson's quondam home — late in November, and, in 
a clever speech, called upon the South to repudiate the "Great 
Commoner. " He suggested Wilson as the Moses who could lead 
them out of the Wilderness and back into the Union. But the 
South, still blinded by prejudice, and bound hand and foot by 
bossism, was not interested in the proposals of a "Vermont 
Yankee" for its regeneration. 

The response to Hay's enquiries was so favorable that in 
December, 1904, the Powers all awaited the calling of the 
Second Hague Peace Conference, which Roosevelt considered 
should also come from the Czar. 

Early in 1905, Choate was succeeded as Ambassador to St. 
James by Whitelaw Reid, while, by spring, Japan had almost 
worn herself out defeating Russian armies which, in spite of 
terrible disasters, seemed actually growing stronger. Seeing that 
a threatened revolution in Russia might prove a terrible menace 
in its encouragement to general radicalism, Roosevelt now 
directed George von L. Meyer, American Ambassador at Rome, 
to proceed forthwith to Petro-grad, and deliver to the Czar a 
note offering the President's services as Intermediator. At the 
same time he urged the Kaiser to second his efforts. He was 
further motivated by a real sympathy for Japan, defrauded by 
the Powers of the legitimate fruits of previous wars. The 
Japanese were only too glad to respond, so that, the following 
summer, Peace was signed at the Portsmouth Conference in 
America, behind which Roosevelt stood as Intermediary. For 
this practical contribution, he was presently awarded the Nobel 
Peace prize. It was too late, however, to prevent attempts at 
revolution in Russia, during which Lenin first attained to 
eminence. Although this revolution was quickly suppressed, it 
compelled the Czar to form a popular Duma. Moreover, it 
stirred Germany profoundly. 


How were the Kaiser and the Militarists to save the Empire 
from the Social Democrats unless by war? So the Kaiser invited 
Roosevelt to help him block France in Morocco, which 
Roosevelt promptly declined to do. Moreover, he served notice 
on the Kaiser that he would deem a war declared upon France a 
crime, thus helping to prevent the outbreak of a general 
European conflict. 

The Internationalists now formed the Conciliation In- 
ternationale in Paris with many of the leading statesmen, 
financiers and Socialists of France, including Leon Bourgeois 
and Baron dEstournelles de Constant, (members of the 
Permanent Court of Arbitration) on its council; while in 
England the Fabian Society took up the work of conciliation. 
Marburg hurried home to found the Maryland Peace Society, 
and the American Association for International Conciliation, 
with himself as President, and with Secretary Root, Knox, 
Bryan, Carnegie, Nicholas Murray Butler, Lyman Abbott, 
Charles Eliot, Daniel Smiley, Cardinal Gibbons, Rabbi Wise, 
Oscar Straus, Paul Warburg, Otto Kahn, Bernard Baruch, 
Clarence Mackay and numerous other statesmen, scholars, 
philanthropists, and international bankers on its council. It was 
then that this indefatigable man published his Toward An 
Enduring Peace in which he virtually outlined to the world what 
was expected of the Powers. 146 

It was everywhere known that Taft was Roosevelt's choice 
as his successor, though he acknowledged Root as an abler 
man. Root's intimate association in the past with the great 
corporate interests, combined with an unpopular personality, 
made him impossible as a candidate. Harvey deemed it, 
therefore, time to commit Wilson for 1912, and to get the 
Democratic press behind him. Pulitzer, owner of the New York 
World, Page, and Bridges, cooperated with him in a clever 
scheme. In March, 1906, a dinner was arranged at the Lotos 
Club in New York, at which Harvey declared to the country at 
large just as he had intimated to the South in 1904, that Wilson 
was the Democratic Moses! Instantly the World endorsed 
Harvey's "nomination," 


while the New York Times admitted that Harvey's prediction 
might come true. 

Bryan heard these tidings with alarm. In the President of 
Princeton, he saw a possibly dangerous opponent. The 
Internationalists, fearing Bryan more than Wilson, also be- 
stirred themselves. The extent to which they were direct-ing the 
political affairs of the world, is manifest from the thirteen 
treaties of arbitration negotiated by the United States, and the 
forty-five by other powers during the preceding five years. 

Just after Harvey's "nomination" of Wilson, the call for the 
Second Hague Peace Conference to assemble June 15, 1907, 
was issued by Baron Rosen of Russia, on April 12, 1906. 
Thereupon Joseph H. Choate, Horace Porter, Uriah M. Rose, 
David Jayne Hill, Rear Admiral Charles S. Sperry, Brig. Gen. 
George B. Davis, William I. Buchanan, James Brown Scott, 
and Charles Henry Butler, with a large secretariat, were 
designated as the American delegates. The following 
December, Elihu Root, as Honorary Chairman of the Pan- 
American Union, publicly suggested to Carnegie that he donate 
the funds for a suitable home for the Union, as a monument to 
the principle of arbitration. This was done at once.* 

During the past decade or more, some able representatives 
had been sent to the Court of St. James — Bayard, Hay, White, 
Choate and Reid. They had enhanced America's prestige there 
enormously. In 1907 James Bryce, after revising The American 
Commonwealth, was appointed British Ambassador to 
Washington, preparatory to the Second Hague Peace 
Conference, and, in April, the National Arbitration and Peace 
Congress met in New York. The following month, at the Lake 
Mohonk Conference on International Arbitration, in an address 
entitled The Progress of Real Internationalism, Nicholas Murray 
Butler outlined what was to be expected at the Hague. 

"Disarmament," he declared in pointed answer to Bryan, and 
as a pledge to the Kaiser, "will follow peace as an effect, not 
precede it as a cause. " 

* The building was dedicated April 26, 1910. 


At this the "Apostle of Peace" took high offense. Separating 
himself from Marburg's Association for International 
Conciliation, which he now saw was but part of the general 
Internationalist scheme, he set out to commit the Democratic 
party with his famous lecture in the Chautauqua tents and 
elsewhere — The Prince of Peace — to a program of Nationalism, 
coupled with immediate disarmament. Seeing the danger of this, 
in the very midst of the Second Hague Conference, Wilson 
wrote Senator Joline, a power within the Democratic party, in 
July, 1907, enquiring if there were no way "to knock Bryan into 
a cocked hat in a dignified and effective manner. " 

With fifty-five nations represented, including Germany, the 
Second Hague Conference was an amazing success. Among the 
conventions adopted were those establishing rules of land and 
naval warfare, a Commission of Enquiry for the investigation of 
facts relating to international disputes, and the institution of 
good offices and mediation. But although the cornerstone of 
Carnegie's "Temple of Peace" was laid at this time, there was 
still no World Court established, nor was any obligation to 
arbitrate imposed upon the signatory powers. Above all else the 
Internationalists wanted a World Court. 146 It was arranged, 
therefore, through Root, to assemble the Central American 
Peace Conference in Washington in December, 1907, for the 
purpose of establishing the principle of obligatory arbitration. 

Now was created the Central American Court of Justice; 
and for the erection of its home in Costa Rica, Carnegie made 
further donations.* The first international court of the kind, it 
was indeed a world landmark. How could the great Powers be 
induced to follow suit? 

The year 1908 opened with tactless statements by the Kaiser 
in a press interview concerning the Boer War, which gave 
Britain high offense, 84 and with a new and stronger treaty of 
arbitration between Great Britain and the United States. Upon 
Pulitzer's return from Europe, where he had attended the 
Second Hague Peace Conference, and become 

* The first building in Cartagena was destroyed by 
earthquake in 1910. The present one is in San Jose. 


much interested in the international movement, he agreed, at 
Harvey's solicitation, to back Wilson with the New York World 
in the New Jersey gubernatorial campaign of 1910, and later for 
president. Thereupon an editorial by Harvey appeared in The 
World, placing Wilson before the country in a way which 
indicated that he had been definitely committed to the world 
peace movement. It was proposed that he be nominated by the 
Democratic party in 1912 upon "an anti-imperialistic, anti- 
militaristic, anti-Bryan platform. " 108 

It is incredible that all this could have occurred without 
cooperation between Wilson and Harvey. Nevertheless Wilson 
had still in no way publicly committed himself to run for the 
Presidency on a Democratic ticket, although he was soon to 
repudiate with scorn the suggestion that he run that year for 
Vice President on the ticket with Bryan, against Taft. 

He was by no means prepared as yet to seek a nomination at 
the hands of the Democratic party, even though he might have 
accepted it, if offered to him. He knew that thousands of 
Democrats had been voting the Republican national ticket since 
Bryan's seduction of the party, that thousands of others had 
voted for Bryan while praying for his opponent to be elected. 
He did not believe it possible for the demoralized Democratic 
party to defeat Taft, who would, with Carnegie's support, attach 
to himself all the Internationalists. On the other hand, he 
believed it possible that if Bryan should be nominated again, a 
third party might be formed, just as in 1896, and that it might 
nominate him, and he left for Europe that summer with that 
hope, despite Harvey's discouragement. 108 Taft was duly 
nominated with the help of the Internationalists, and, in support 
of his candidacy, Butler published The American As He Is, a 
new plea for the Internationalism of Carnegie. 

The Democratic party had, however, learned its lesson from 
Bryan's three defeats. It had no idea of splitting again. Instead it 
nominated Parker, a Conservative, on a conservative platform, 
and, upon Wilson's return, he voted for Parker, though much 
disappointed, not because he was 


as yet a Democrat, but because he deemed this the best way to 
use his vote. 

The presidency of Taft opened with a "love feast" between 
Britain and America. Straightway, to seal the fine accord 
between the two English speaking empires which Bryce and 
Root were bringing about, the Internationalists began planning 
for a huge jubiliation in London in 1914, to mark the centennial 
anniversary of peace between the two nations. A statue to 
Washington was actually to be unveiled in the British capitol. 
Britons began declaring that Washington had perhaps, after all, 
saved the British Empire! The whole tone of things was 
beginning to change, to the utter consternation of the Irish 
agitators and the German-American population, so that Bryan's 
tirades against the English were received among them with ap- 

The period which followed was one of bitter controversy at 
Princeton. In what seemed to many a truly headlong course, 
Wilson at last assailed the eating clubs. He thus attacked the 
social system of the university in a way that necessarily 
involved the alumni, many of whom did not share his own 
democratic ideals. "What right has he," they demanded, "to 
touch the private life of the student body?" Students, faculty, 
trustees, alumni, and residents of the town, were soon 
hopelessly divided into hostile camps; thereupon the fight 
among the Trustees over the idea of a Graduate College came to 
a head. Then occurred the incident which was to prove the most 
potent weapon in the hands of his enemies. Grover Cleveland 
had supported Wilson up to this time. Now they came into 
conflict. Cleveland was sure he divined Wilson's real purpose. 
The rugged old Democrat did not trust him. If Wilson were not 
a Democrat, why was he allowing Harvey, Page, and others to 
misrepresent him? And so, in the heat of temper, he branded 
Wilson "intellectually dishonest." 119 Looking back, it seems 
certain that Wilson was doomed as President of Princeton from 
this moment. 

Naturally Wilson was much embittered. This was a terrible 
characterization to come from the greatest living Dem- 


ocrat, one noted for his straight thinking and rugged integ-rity, 
at the end of Wilson's years of ceaseless preparation. His 
political prospects within the Democratic party now seemed 
dim indeed. Cleveland died during the summer of 1008, while 
Wilson was in Europe. To make matters worse, Wilson, on his 
return, omitted to hold a memorial service. At once his enemies 
claimed that he was merely making use of Princeton, as 
declared by Cleveland, to advance his political fortunes, 
whereupon the demand for his dismissal, among the once 
devoted alumni, grew louder and louder. The New York chapter 
came near refusing to hear him speak, after extending him an 



The fascinating story of how Harvey, despite all this, 
proceeded to make Wilson, a self-professed Federalist, the 
Democratic governor of New Jersey, would fill a book in it- 
self. It was not an easy task. 

The New Year of 1909 saw the election of Root to the 
Senate, and the appointment of Philander C. Knox to succeed 
him as Secretary of State. Soon followed the publication of 
Homer Lea's sensational and alarming Valour of Ignorance. 
The country learned with amazement of the possible nearness 
of war with Japan. Could it be avoided? 

Butler dealt at length with the question of the world's 
armaments. It was public opinion, not disarmament, he 
declared, that must be organized to prevent war. Wilson himself 
was terribly alarmed. Now he no longer wished to accept the 
gubernatorial nomination, coupled with a view to running for 
President in 1912. Was it not obvious that Cleveland's friends 
would defeat him? Even if elected, he might have a war on his 

He was not the only one to be alarmed. Marburg believed 
that the Socialists and bankers jointly, had alone restrained the 
setting in motion of the German war machine. 90 Der Tag" was 
now the open toast of the German Navy. Was not war the way 
to end Socialism? Here was the first step of the new 
Frankenstein! War was likely to come out of the very 
encouragement which the world peace movement had given 
Socialism! Any dispute might be made the pretext for it. 95 


Having founded the Maryland Peace Society since the 
Second Hague Peace Conference, Marburg next set about the 
formation of the American Society for Judicial Settlement of 
International Disputes, as an agency through which to 
popularize the idea of a World Court, for which the Central 
American Court of Justice was a successful precedent. Early in 
1910, he published his Salient Thoughts on Judicial Settlement. 
On January 31st, Taft, who had, since Roosevelt's departure for 
Africa, become an avowed candidate for reelection, with the 
support of Carnegie and Root, wrote Marburg: "I have learned 
with interest of your plan. . . . The leaflets which you propose to 
publish, together with the meetings of national scope which you 
are planning to hold from time to time, may have a very great 
influence on the development of public opinion on this im- 
portant subject. If the proposed Court of Arbitral Justice at The 
Hague becomes an accomplished fact, there will still remain the 
task of securing the adhesion of a number of Powers to the 
Court, and the very important task of so cultivating opinion in 
various countries as to incline Governments to resort to the 
Court, when occasion calls for it. There is no other single way 
in which the cause of peace and disarmament can be so 
effectively promoted, as by the firm establishment of a 
permanent international Court of Justice." 142 

Armed with this endorsement, and supported by the active 
sympathy of Knox, Marburg succeeded, in February, 1910, in 
founding the society, with himself as President and Taft as 
Honorary President. 

Upon the death of Chief Justice Fuller, Root succeeded him 
as a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The 
Hague. In April, when the Pan-American building was 
dedicated in Washington, Root declared it, in the speech of 
dedication on the occasion, to be "a confession of faith, a 
covenant of fraternal duty, a declaration of allegiance to an 
ideal." The gift, he declared, had been inspired by enthusiasm 
for the good of humanity. It was evidence of a spirit that would 
solve all disputed questions of the future and preserve the peace 
of the Western World. 


Roosevelt realized that the Internationalists now all op-osed 
him. He was becoming more and more impatient with Taft, 
Knox, Root, Butler, and their theories. Believ-ing that he knew 
the real purpose of both Japan and the Kaiser, he now 
undertook, on his way home from Africa, to noint out what 
should be done. Thus, at Christiania, on May 5, 1910, he stirred 
the world by declaring that the Great Powers should, without 
surrendering their political independence in any way, form a 
"League of Peace" for the purpose "not only of keeping the 
peace among themselves but to prevent, by force, if necessary, 
its being broken by others." 

The Internationalists were, of course, furious. Here was 
Roosevelt striking at their proposed World Court. At Lake 
Mohonk, a fortnight later, under the title Are We Our Mothers' 
Keepers, Butler answered Roosevelt with new arguments for a 
World Court. A month later, speaking at the University of 
Pennsylvania, Knox, thoroughly under the influence of Root, 
went so far as to say: "The time will come when the nations of 
the world shall realize a federation as real and vital as that now 
subsisting between component parts of a single state." Finally, 
in the Peace Movement Practical which Marburg now 
published, he showed himself to be behind all the 
Internationalist declarations. In him, both Roosevelt and Bryan 
were to find an implacable opponent. When the former reached 
New York in June, he realized how bitterly the Internationalists 
would oppose any effort of his to claim the nomination from 
Taft, and for the time being abandoned the idea of doing so. 211 

The International School of Peace was now endowed by 
Edwin Ginn, of Boston, as The World Peace Foundation. The 
income of a million dollars was to be used to educate the 
people "to a full knowledge of the waste and destruc-tiveness of 
war, and by every practical means to promote international 
peace, justice, and good will." Sixty thousand dollars can 
accomplish much in national elections. Such a foundation was 
bound to become a power by reason of its solidarity and 


Such was the situation when Wilson's affairs reached a 
crisis. A demand had arisen among the alumni for his dis- 
missal, and the utmost pressure was exerted upon the Trustees 
to request his resignation. 

David Lawrence, the biographer, tells us that, at this time, 
Wilson was still hopeful of the formation of a third party in 
1912, of which he might be the candidate. 119 Was he playing 
fair with Harvey? Some there were who thought not. But they 
themselves were not fair to Wilson. 

Much water had flowed over the dam since Harvey's 
editorial in 1908. The break with the Board of Trustees at 
Princeton, and with Cleveland and his large following among 
the alumni and in the Democratic party, had both occurred. 
Wilson could not fail to see that his criticisms of Bryan and the 
Democratic party in the past, his published statements that he 
was a Hamiltonian Federalist and not a Democrat, and that he 
was not in sympathy with the South, had alienated many voters. 
Would mud be thrown in his face by those who formerly might 
have supported him? In addition to all this, he had failed to 
capture any part of the Internationalists. While Carnegie's great 
following was squarely lined up behind Taft, Bryan was de- 
termined to claim the Democratic nomination. Was it strange 
that Wilson did not see how it was possible for him to obtain 
the Democratic nomination, even had he wanted it as the sole 
means of serving the country? This combination of reasons 
alone would suffice to explain why Harvey and ex-Senator 
Smith — the great Democratic boss of New Jersey — had been 
unable, as the gubernatorial contest approached, to commit 
Wilson to the proposed candidacy, which Smith, for reasons of 
his own, was quite willing to forego. 

As the time for the nominating convention approached, 
Harvey and Smith could no longer permit Wilson to postpone a 
final decision. Events were playing into their hands. It seems 
certain that, in June, the Trustees were importuned by Wilson's 
friends to take no action on Wilson, until after Harvey and 
Smith had again offered him the gubernatorial nomination. 138 
Should he accept, the prob- 


lem at Princeton would be solved. It was, at any rate, whis- 
pered about during the final exercises at Princeton in June that 
"Woody" might be disposed of without being dismissed. It was 
even said that some of his friends on the Board of Trustees had 
agreed to put up the necessary money to insure his nomination 
by the New Jersey machine. 13 

When, however, Harvey and Smith conferred with him after 
the close of the session, he was still unwilling to accept their 

offer. It was thereupon arranged that he should seek the counsel 

of his friends among the Trustees. Harvey and Smith must 

have known that McCormick and others would discourage his 

lingering hope of a third party in 1912, and would tell him the 

truth about the situation at Princeton, which it appeared he had 

not fully grasped. Then he must face the choice between 

allowing Smith to have him nominated, and running the risk of 

a virtual dismissal from Princeton, which would end his 

political prospects forever. 

It was upon his return from Chicago where he consulted 
McCormick, Jones, and others, and before he had given Harvey 
and Smith a final answer, that the devoted Page, obviously in 
cooperation with Harvey, sought Wilson out." The Fourth of 
July was at hand. What a day in American history! That day 
American soil had been first sighted by Raleigh's hopeful 
colonists; the Continental Congress had proclaimed the 
Independence of the Colonies on July 4, 1776. Thomas 
Jefferson and John Adams had both died on July 4, 1826. 
California had declared her independence of Mexico, July 4, 
1846. Vicksburg was captured by Grant, and Lee hurled back 
by Meade at Gettysburg, July 4, 1863, whereby the Republic 
was saved! Now a great appeal was to be made to Wilson on 
behalf of the country by one who was, like Harvey, a passionate 

Page, the humanitarian, and Harvey, the practical politician, 
though both editors, intellectuals, Democrats violently opposed 
to Bryan, and future ambassadors at the Court of St. James, 
were two very different men. 

Harvey was a Vermont Yankee of the old copperhead type. 
Page was a North Carolinian of the Anglican type, 


and above all else an anti-sectionalist and Unionist on prin- 
ciple — so much so that there was no place for him in the 
political society of his native state. He had sought for years to 
emancipate the South from the bondage of its prejudices, and 
had ridiculed the travesty of southern politics in his Southerner. 
In no sense an anglomaniac, the anglophobia of Bryan and his 
followers aroused his ire above all else. The Internationalists of 
the Carnegie and Taft school might educate the world for 
peace, but the security of America in the face of the Yellow 
Peril demanded a thorough understanding and cooperation 
between Britain and America. Determined to save the friend 
whose political career he had nursed since that far-off day in 
1883 when he had first noted Wilson's great political ambition, 
he was the man of all men to make the final appeal to him. 

As he now listened to Page, it must have seemed to Wilson 
that he had erected the vast structure of his high-soaring hopes 
of a third party upon a veritable foundation of sand. Could it be 
that all those years of ceaseless toil and preparation had gone 
for naught, had slipped like quicksilver through the hands of 
time? Surely it must have been with bitterness of heart that he 
had waked, not only to see the crumbling edifice of his 
cherished dreams, but to find himself facing actual disgrace. 
Abstracted, unresponsive, apparently heedless of the future, he 
had nevertheless to hear Page declare categorically, that he 
must accept Smith's offer or take the consequences; it was, 
moreover, the only way that he could ever become President. 

It was only now that Page discovered the great question in 
Wilson's mind. Was not war with Japan at hand, along with all 
the terrible social upheavals which Proud-hon, Kropotkin, and 
Lenin had been hopefully predicting? 

Undoubtedly the general situation was discussed at length. 
Undoubtedly, too, Page minimized the dangers, while seeking 
to bolster up Wilson's courage, pointing out to him the need of a 
better understanding with the British as the means of 
overcoming them. Did he even then suggest that if Wilson were 
elected, he would, as his Ambassador, help in this? It is not 


"If war does not come before 1913, it may never come. 
If it does, it is you who must save mankind. Humanity is crying 
for you!" So this ardent patriot must have argued. 

Wilson's final decision to cast his lot with the Democratic 
party, was more than mere opportunism. In the struggle 
between ambition and fear which had been wrack-ing his soul 
these past years, the pride born of a deep religious sense of duty 
to which Page had appealed, overmastered, momentarily at 
least, his misgivings. Page had won. The next day, with revived 

1 OS 

courage, Wilson authorized Harvey to tell Smith to proceed! 

The idea of Wilson's nomination was bitterly opposed by 
Tumulty, Mark Sullivan, and other young Jersey Democrats, 
but the organization was solidly behind Smith. Although 
Wilson had made no promises to Smith, Smith had some right 
to feel that Wilson would be so much in his debt, that he might 
safely rely on the Governor's support for his reelection to the 
United States Senate that year, and on being taken into his 
confidence. Wilson was accordingly nominated and elected 
Governor of New Jersey by the most out and out machine 
politics, amid a great Democratic uproar about his idealism. 

"Wilson — that's all!" was the cry. "They said 'let George do 
it' and by God he did it." 108 

Now again the South, despite Wilson's repudiation of it, 
hailed him as its son. Verily too, the Hamiltonian Federalist of 
yesterday was now the foremost Jeffersonian Democrat! The 
Southern people never even suspected Wilson's true sentiments. 
The Democratic politicians saw to that. They were hungry, and 
they saw a chance to be fed! 

"What did I tell you?" chuckled Harvey to the New Jersey 
bosses. "The South would support Lincoln on a Democratic 
ticket, let alone Wilson!" 

The Democrats who had been unable to determine from 
Wilson's attitude exactly what he was, now escaped from their 
dilemma by crediting Harvey with having discovered for the 
Democratic party the greatest "humanitarian ideal-ist of the 
age." Whatever that might mean politically, it was a fascinating 
title, one that vied well with "Apostle of 


Peace," and the title of "Humanist" which Carnegie had of late 
bestowed upon Taft. What cared they about Wilson's past 
professions? Did not all great men change to meet the times? 

But Harvey knew how ceaselessly Wilson had been 
working toward this opportunity. Therefore he insisted that 
Wilson had discovered himself. 10 



The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Wilson 
Turns on the New Jersey Bosses. Bryan Brands Wilson "an 
Autocrat." McCombs Becomes Wilson's Campaign 
Manager. Enter Colonel House, Exponent of Revolution. 
The Mexican Revolution. House Meets Wilson and 
Captivates Him. Enter also Houston. The Conversion of 
Wilson Begins. Harvey Dropped by Wilson. Watterson 
Infuriated, Sets the South Against Wilson. Morgenthau, 
Aspirant for Secretary of the Treasury, Becomes Chairman 
of Wilson's Finance Committee. McAdoo Joins Wilson. 
Mexico and the Haldane Commission. Marburg Publishes 
"The Backward Nation." House Predicts the Nomination of 
Bryan. Wilson Seeks to Withdraw his Candidacy. The 
Duplicity of House. Wilson Nominated by The "Bosses." 

GOVERNOR WILSON was among the outstanding figures in 
American public life at the time of his taking up his new 
task. Politically, New Jersey was an Augean stable, a 
veritable pigsty of filth, vying with Tammany for the dishonor 
of first place in the category of disreputable politics. What 
could an idealist, beholden to the bosses for his election, do to 
set up in New Jersey the "new standards" about which he had 
been talking so long? 

An immense amount of foolishness had been written about 
democracy during the past century. Apparently Wilson had 
been reading it all. He would have done better to devote more 
time and thought to ancient conceptions of government. With a 
vast intellectual experience, Confucius had pointed out the true 
purpose of government. It finds its justification, he had taught, 
in the service it renders the governed. This did not mean that a 
good government was merely a Christmas tree. As the Sages 
saw it, 


there was a fundamental principle that no political society could 
ignore. Human nature being what it is, a balance must be struck 
between individual freedom of action, and the authority 
necessarily reposed in those entrusted with the tasks which a 
vast experience of mankind has shown the people cannot do for 
themselves. The same principles applied to political societies, 
that applied to individuals. All human progress is the result of 
the interaction of opposing forces. Therefore, on the one side, 
the force of tradition from which comes that respect for 
authority, which alone will make government endurable, must 
be upheld. In opposition to this, there must be enthroned and 
encouraged, the intuitive force of man, if he is to preserve the 
freedom of thought and action that will give play to his God- 
given instincts. The Sages well knew that if the former were 
over-accentuated, government would pass from monarchy to 
autocracy, to the cramping order of dictatorship and tyranny, 
and finally on to chaos. Democracy in the hands of 
demagogues, however, would just as certainly degenerate into 
socialism, communism, anarchy, and final chaos, were respect 
for tradition and authority weakened too greatly. No one had 
better defined democracy in its true political sense than Parson 
John Wise, founder of the Congregational Church, who, 
according to Madison, Morgan, Fiske, and Coolidge, had 
written the text-book of American liberty, and sounded the first 
note of the American Revolution. "Democracy," wrote this self- 
confessed disciple of Puffendorf, "is Christ's government in 
state as well as Church." 

Jefferson had written that all his ideas of human liberty had 
been derived from the Congregational Church. But in practice 
he had never concerned himself with the spiritual aspect of 
government. Nor had Wilson found much consideration of the 
spiritual in the writings of the Socialists. It had apparently never 
occurred to him that the increasing atheism of the world was the 
direct product of the materialism of his age, that the increasing 
complexity of life in the face of that materialism, was 
inevitable. He did not see that mankind for centuries had been 
building up 


vast material structure that was becoming insupportable, that, 
like the Tower of Babel, it must topple and fall to the earth 
sooner or later, crushing its builders under its weight. Having 
devoted himself to the study of economic theories and 
sociology, reflecting the materialism of a gross age in which 
God was being eliminated more and more from the 
consideration of political as well as other scientists, he did not 
understand the symbols the Patriot Father had placed upon the 
seal of the Republic. He did not understand why the founders 
had copied the peculiar form of the Republic from the sacred 
Hodenosaunne or Iroquois League, in whose written 
constitution had been embodied since time immemorial the 
fundamental principles symbolized by the spread eagle and the 
pyramid. Had he been more interested in things spiritual, he 
would have seen that the former was not the symbol of mere 
political power, that it represented the Great Spirit in whom the 
native peoples of ancient America had placed their trust. He 
would have seen that the pyramid symbolized the basic 
principle of government already mentioned, that it was only 
through a perfect balance between authority and individual 
liberty that the ideal of human happiness, collectively as well as 
individually, could be attained. He would have had less 
patience with the materialistic theories that were substituting 
"In Gold We Trust" for the motto of Washington — "In God We 

Let us not blame Woodrow Wilson for his lack of un- 
derstanding. He was the logical product of a materialistic age. 
Even those seeking earnestly to ameliorate the hard lot of man 
by lessening the strife in which the Nations of the earth were 
becoming more hopelessly involved, were resorting to 
economics rather than spiritual teachings to achieve their ends. 
They too deemed God a minor factor in their problem. Many of 
the Internationalists had seen from the first the necessity of 
preventing both Bryan and Roosevelt from being elected in 
1912. What were they to do about this strange man Wilson 
whom, so far, they had not captured? 

In this situation Carnegie did not hesitate. All the assa[79] 

ciations working for universal peace were well enough in their 
way, but they lacked the solidity of a permanent direction. On 
the other hand, it was not well for an association pleading a 
special interest to be endowed. Therefore, hardly had Wilson 
entered the Executive Mansion of New Jersey, when, on 
December 14, 1910, Carnegie donated ten of his countless 
millions to found the "Carnegie Endowment for International 
Peace," ostensibly merely as an agency for the enlightenment of 
the world by education. With Root as its President, and James 
Brown Scott as its permanent Secretary, this great institution 
virtually absorbed the personnel of the old American Peace 
Society which, however, was to continue as a separate 
organization, while the American Association for International 
Conciliation was disbanded. 

The Board of Trustees named by Carnegie was peculiarly 

President, Elihu Root 

Vice President, Joseph H. Choate 

Secretary, James Brown Scott 

Robert S. Brookings Henry S. Pritchett 

Thomas Burke George W. Perkins 

Nicholas Murray Butler James G. Schmidlapp 

John L. Cadwalader James L. Slayden 

Cleveland H. Dodge Albert K. Smiley 

Charles W. Eliot Oscar S. Straus 

Arthur William Foster Charles L. Taylor 

John W. Foster Charlemagne Tower 

Austin C. Fox Andrew D. White 

Robert A. Franks John Sharp Williams 

William M. Howard Robert S. Woodward 
Samuel Mather Luke E. Wright 

Andrew J. Montague 

Root and Butler with three others constituted the Executive 
Committee, while Butler was made director of Intercourse and 

It was an irresistible directorate, one that would have done 
credit to any banking house in the world. With its unlimited 
resources, the Anarchists and Socialists must look 


to themselves — so also Roosevelt and "The Apostle of Peace." 
Ex-Governor Montague of Virginia, Senator Williams of 
Mississippi, and Luke E. Wright of Tennessee, ex-Secretary of 
War, the three Southerners, were included, of course, as anti- 
Bryanites to capture the South.* Cleveland H. Dodge was one 
of Wilson's closest friends and warmest admirers, who, as one 
of the Princeton Trustees, is supposed to have advanced Smith 
funds for Wilson's gubernatorial campaign. Should Wilson be 
elected in 1912, this would give Root and Butler an approach to 
him. Possessing the aspect of a non-partisan public institution, 
the Carnegie Endowment could use its vast resources to back 
Taft and Marburg to better advantage than if they had been of- 
ficers, and would not attract opposition while carrying on a 
general propaganda. 

Three days after this epochal event in the history of the 
world, Taft said: "If now we can negotiate and put through a 
positive agreement with some great nation to abide the 
adjudication of an international arbitral court in every issue 
which cannot be settled by negotiation, no matter what is 
involved, whether honour, territory, or money, we shall have 
made a long step forward by demonstrating that it is possible 
for two nations, at least, to establish, as between them, the same 
system of due process of law that exists between individuals 
under a government." Moreover, in his opinion, disarmament 
would merely rob America of her prestige in the Council of 
Nations. This is conclusive that he had Marburg's scheme of 
enforcing peace in mind. 209 

No one can read the writings of Root, Marburg, Taft, Butler, 
and others at this time, without seeing how truly alarmed they 
were over Japan's intentions. Plainly Wilson was, like Taft and 
Butler, less fearful of the European war which the whole world 
knew was impending, than of the seemingly more immediate 
danger. It was fear of war with Japan that was still giving him 
serious pause. 

Roosevelt, however, was more fearful of the purpose of 

* In numerous school histories the endowment is not 


Taft, Root, and the Internationalists, than of Japan. Moreover, 
while he had proved his belief in the general principle of 
arbitration, and applied it both to international and domestic 
social disputes, the idea that the Republic of Washington should 
submit questions involving the national territory to the decision 
of others, was no less an amazing proposition to him than to 
Bryan. This alone would have sufficed to end his faith in Taft, 
and those who were exploiting him. He had come to the 
conclusion that they would yield their souls in fear of Japan. It 
was this more than anything else that caused the rapidly 
widening breach between him and Root, and made him listen 
with more willingness to the urgings of the Progressives to save 
the country from another Taft regime. 

It is not difficult to determine the influence the Inter- 
nationalists were exerting upon Woodrow Wilson at this time. 
Tumulty tells the story. 

"The brilliant intellectual who has lately been elected Gov- 
ernor of New Jersey, sits pensively at his desk in the executive 
offices at Trenton. His visage is not that of a happy man. No 
man is spiritually content who, like Woodrow Wilson, is wed- 
ded to the star of an all-absorbing, urgent, tantalizing ambition. 
Something is disturbing the restless mind of the Governor 
today. While approaching the zenith of success after a toilsome 
life of preparation, a great fear has possessed his soul. Sitting 
there in a deeply reflective mood, gazing out upon the greying 
world of an early winter, he can almost see, through the scurry- 
ing snowflakes, the pall of murk that a thriving industry spreads 
above the neighboring 'City of Brotherly Love.' He can almost 
feel the pant of countless bellows, hear the clangor of as many 
anvils. He is wondering what use will be made of the massive 
keels, the mighty engines that are being forged in the nearby 
metropolis. Is it in truth a city of peace, or is it but another 
Vulcan's workshop? 

"Suddenly his revery comes to an end. 

" 'I do not know,' he says to the man opposite him, 'that I 
would care to be President during the next four years.' 

"A look of surprise comes over the ruddy face of the little 
Irish politician who, until lately opposed to Wilson, had fore- 
gone the more lucrative office of a state judgeship to become 


Governor's confidential secretary. Having staked his political 
fortunes upon 'The Professor On Horseback,' he is not yet 
accustomed to the moods which sweep like varying winds over 
the man in whose service he has enlisted. With pencil poised, 
he pauses in his writing. 

" 'For the next President,' continues the Governor, dra- 
matically, looking about as if fearful of uninvited ears, 'will 
have a great war on his hands, and I am not sure I should make 
a good war President.' " 

Senator Smith and the lesser Democratic bosses of New Jer- 
sey whom Joseph P. Tumulty had abandoned, and on whom 
Wilson had turned after they had secured his nomination and 
election, are the only enemies whom the little secretary fears. 

" 'With what nation do you think we will have war?' he 
enquires in a tone of incredulity. 

"Again the Governor glances about furtively. 

" 'I do not care to say.' " With this non-committal, puzzling 
reply, he addresses himself energetically to the business of state 
awaiting him. 

"So Woodrow Wilson commences his political career with 
the conviction rooted in his mind that Bryan's long heralded 
reign of universal peace is not at hand; that the Republic in 
whose democracy the seers of the past saw the hope of human- 
ity, is on the verge of war; and with a self-appraisal that indi- 
cates lack of confidence in himself as a political leader under 
the present circumstances of the world. 

" 'A Pacifist,' mused Tumulty, 'with an innate fear and 
hatred of war.'" 217 

So concluded the shrewd politician who, having accepted 
the post of confidence offered him by Governor Wilson, was 
watching this strange man with the eyes of a lynx. Was he 
mistaken? Had he been deliberately deceived? These are 
questions the reader must answer for himself. Certain it is, 
Tumulty did not have Wilson fooled for a minute. 

In New Jersey, the situation with respect to Senator James 
Smith was indeed difficult. But however mistaken Wilson may 
have been in dealing with him in the first instance, he saw now 
that to support him for the Senate, while trying to reform New 
Jersey politics, was out of the ques- 


tion. How could he do this and smash the old machine? 
Therefore, unquestionably upon the advice of Dodge, Page, and 
Harvey, in the senatorial contest which soon occurred, he 
repudiated Smith as his choice, and excluded all the bosses 
from his confidence. 

The politicians generally were dumbfounded. "There! 
That's what we got for fooling with professors, editors, and 
non-professionals," they whispered among themselves. 
"Harvey's put one over on you, sure as Dick Croker's a dead 
man!" So spake Charlie Murphy, the great Tammany sachem, 
momentarily amused by the predicament in which his outwitted 
neighbors found themselves. 

Smith was defeated. Nugent, the State Chairman, at once 
began branding Wilson "a liar and a base ingrate," citing 
Cleveland in his support. Harvey shrewdly turned the incident 
to Wilson's advantage. "He has won a great victory over the 
bosses ! " he declared in his papers, and so the country generally 
proclaimed Wilson a "boss buster," although he had owed his 

1 OR 

election to the head boss of New Jersey. 

The legislative program put forward by Wilson was superb. 
As the glorious cathedral-like spires of the peace palace raised 
themselves like the hopes of the Internationalists to the high 
heavens, gleaming in the sunshine of the "new enlightenment," 
the politicians did not fail to see the seemingly irresistible 
momentum which Carnegie's money was giving the world 
peace movement. Moreover, with a taste of public service, and 
the prospect that Roosevelt would oppose Taft, Wilson's 
courage strengthened. In any case, war was unthinkable, 
Carnegie, Bryan, Butler, and scores of others protested, though 
most of them were merely whistling in the dark. 

Harvey and Page, of course, had no idea of letting the fear 
of war deter Wilson. Democratic stock was now high, with 
Roosevelt hostile to Taft. But Harvey tried in vain to capture 
Bryan for Wilson. The "Great Commoner," also, saw that 1912 
was likely to be a Democratic year. Then too, despite Wilson's 
splendid record as Governor, 


Bryan deemed him "an autocrat by nature," and no Democrat in 
principle. 108 

Experience of the South, a section still bent on bombarding 
Fort Sumter, had convinced Harvey that it was likely to support 
even Bryan again, if the prospect of elect-ing him seemed 
bright. It had abandoned Cleveland for much less than Wilson 
had said in Division and Reunion. Moreover, Wilson had, in his 
youth, even assailed the Confederacy in two public addresses. 
He believed it almost useless to appeal to the reason of the 
South. Certainly it would not support him unless the Southern 
bosses and their vassal press were captured. This was Harvey's 
first great task. 

Wilson had already tired somewhat of Harvey. The 
"Passionate Patriot" had done a lot of writing, but, like Page, he 
had left to Wilson entirely the arrangements for the financing 
and management of his presidential campaign. With few close 
friends, and even fewer wealthy ones, Wilson had received, up 
to February, 1911, not a single offer of the necessary financial 
support. Therefore, while Harvey was in the South proselytizing 
among the Southern editors, Wilson appealed to Page for help. 
Referring to Harvey, he said that an "indiscreet" person was 
booming him for president. He did not want a "big man" for his 
manager. Thereupon Page and Bridges suggested that Wilson 
consider William F. McCombs. 99 An Arkansan by birth, but 
now a New York lawyer, and a former pupil of Wilson's at 
Princeton, he was devoted to the Governor. Though physically 
somewhat incapacitated by lameness, he was a high-strung 
natural fighter. Toward the end of February, Wilson finally 
enlisted him for the job. McCombs' story, like Harvey's, fills a 
book which reads like a romance. 138 

Harvey had, by this time, succeeded in capturing Colonel 
Henry Watterson, editor of the Louisville Courier Journal, 
whose wife was a cousin of Mrs. Wilson; Colonel J. C. 
Hemphill, editor of the leading Charleston paper; and Clark 
Howell, editor of the Atlanta Constitution. Straightway 
McCombs set energetically to work, raising 


money for Wilson's campaign among his Princeton friends. 
Only a little was obtained. Soon he was deeply in debt, so that 
on his western tour of the spring, Wilson had to borrow money 
from Bryan's brother to get home. 119 

Now occurred a revolution, led by Madero against Porfirio 
Diaz, "The Grand Old Man of Mexico." Disorders along the 
border followed. Louder and louder rose the demands for 
military preparedness and intervention. Diaz was soon 
compelled to abdicate. Believing that Japan had designs on 
Mexico, as suggested by Homer Lea, Taft assembled a regular 
army division in Texas, ostensibly for maneuver purposes. 
Instantly, too, a Peace Conference among all the American 
states was called to assemble at Lake Mohonk with Marburg as 
its Secretary. The Philosophy of the Third American Peace 
Conference, now published by Marburg, was an appeal for 
upholding the established Pan-American policy of non- 
intervention in Mexico, and against the disarmament urged by 
Bryan. Plainly the conference was designed to discourage 

Harvey was a champion of law and order in Mexico. 
Suspicious of the forces behind Harpers Weekly, and bitterly 
opposed to intervention, Wilson charged that journal with being 
the mouthpiece of Wall Street. Thereafter, Wilson became 
growingly restive under Harvey's support. By summer he felt 
that it was positively injurious to him. Consequently, not 
without offense to Watterson, McCombs refused to accept aid 
from Thomas F. Ryan, to whom the Martin-Swanson-Flood 
Democratic Machine of Virginia had long looked for its 
support. Henceforth the "Organization" of Virginia — the State 
of Wilson's birth — was to be implacably hostile. However, 
Willard Saulsbury of Delaware, connected with the powerful 
DuPont interests, was now captured for Wilson, and with the 
aid of Hudspeth, Tumulty and others, Nugent was at last 
deposed as Democratic Chairman in New Jersey. 

Among the Internationalists there were, as shown, 
Democrats of eminence as well as Republicans, just as in the 
case of the Pacifists. The former included Col. Edward M. 
House, of Texas, who owed his title to service on the 


Governor's staff. His father had emigrated from England, and 
been prominent in the Texas Revolution. A man of some 
affluence with a taste for politics, and known in Texas as "a 
silent worker," Colonel House had acquired a summer home at 
Beverly on the North Shore of Massachusetts. There he had 
formed acquaintance with Taft, Richard Olney, Charles Eliot, 
Marburg, and other men of eminence. He had been in sympathy 
with Bryan, an intimate personal friend. But with the "Great 
Commoner" more or less off the political boards, he was, like 
Diogenes, says House's biographer, looking for a Democratic 
president who would fill "his bill." 103 Having established 
Tammany contacts, he was, in 1910, riding both the Gaynor 
and Culberson bandwagons. "I am generally found on the 
winning side," he explained. Upon the election of Wilson as 
Governor, he had dropped Gaynor at once, and, while 
continuing his relations with Bryan and Culberson, had 
returned to Texas in the spring of 1911 with a view to 
establishing control over the political forces in order to be able 
to deliver the delegates to the most likely candidate. 

Recently discovered evidence indicates a combination, at 
this time, among our competitors abroad to support the 
Democrats in their theoretical efforts at tariff reduction. 723 
These efforts had generally been rather half-hearted since 
Democratic industrialists demanded protection quite as much as 
their Republican confreres. The tariff has always been a strictly 
local and altogether selfish issue. Colonel House was not an 
industrialist, nor was his constituency primarily industrial. It is 
therefore not surprising that he favored a downward revision of 
duties. 103 

It was during his stay in Texas that he wrote his first book — 
a political romance entitled Philip Dm: Administrator. The 
character of it is significant — the story of a young West Point 
graduate who made himself dictator of the United States, 
rescinded the Constitution, reformed the currency, enacted labor 
laws providing for workmen's compensation, abolished the 
tariff, and placed the courts under his personal control. 

The Colonel admitted that his hero was a Socialist of 


the Blanc School, while no one can read the book without 
seeing the influence it had exerted upon his views. 

The author of this strange novel was shrewder than the 
"Apostle of Peace." He had seen the trend of events, and had, in 
some way, broken into the sanctum sanctorum of the 
Internationalists, whose whole scheme seems to have been 
disclosed to him. In consequence, he made Dm, as American 
Premier, lead the United States into a league of nations similar 
to that which Marburg had in mind, a league in which the 
Supreme Council possessed the power not only to regulate the 
domestic affairs of the constituent states but to enforce 
universal peace. As finally published (1913), the book seems to 
have developed progressively with political developments in 
America. Starting off in a socialistic key to catch the ear of 
Bryan, it passed to a Parliamentary refrain for Wilson, and then 
into an International-istic chorus for Carnegie and Marburg! It 
seems plain why its publication was long withheld by House. In 
1911, House was not yet prepared to abandon Bryan, nor was 
he prepared, until after Wilson's election, to sponsor a league of 

One need not look to this romance alone for House's 
political ideas. In a book published by Smith, a newspaper man, 
purporting to be the life of House, and, according to the author, 
dictated in large measure by House himself, the latter is 
depicted as an Internationalist of the most advanced type, who 
believed, like Marburg, that the traditional principles of the 
American national parties must be abandoned. 197 So too, in the 
compendious compilation of House's papers by Seymour, 
obviously also nothing more than an autobiography, since it is 
admitted in the preface that it was written with House's aid, 
House unhesitatingly confessed that it was his purpose, in 1911, 
so to transform the Democratic party through its next President 
as to effect a virtual revolution in the American Government. 
Not only that, but it was to be "socialized and 
internationalized. " 103 

From all this it is obvious that House, in so far as his 
internationalism went, was working not only to the same end as 
Marburg, even if not under his direction, but 


towards that of the foreign tariff plot. In other words, white 
Marburg was bending every energy to reelect Taft, an avowed 
Internationalist, House was determined to see that the next 
president was a Democratic Internationalist with dictatorial and 
socialistic tendencies, and a low tariff advocate. 

On reaching Texas, House found great unrest over the 
Mexican situation, and an increasing demand for intervention. 
This he opposed on the ground that it would play into Japan's 
hands by estranging the Pan-Americans of Central and South 

It was in the summer of 1911 that he sought out Page, 
whose relations with Wilson were well known. Professing a 
deep interest in Wilson, he suggested to Page, as he had to the 
Democratic leaders of Texas, that it might be well for Wilson to 
speak at the Texas State Fair in October. "Better look up 
Colonel House," Page said to Wilson. "He's been doing a lot of 
good work for you." 197 

Wilson made a good impression in Texas, and won the 
support of the Democratic leaders — Thomas W. Gregory, Ball, 
Love, and Cato Sells.* Upon soliciting funds from them after 
Wilson's return, McCombs was advised to ask for a contribution 
from Colonel House. So it came about that Wilson's campaign 
manager called on House, whom he found much interested in 
Wilson, but not in contributing to his campaign. 

Poor McCombs! Guileless as a child, he never even 
suspected the queer little man with "feline, shifty eyes and big 
ears, a retiring manner and a soft voice," with the manuscript of 
Philip Dm on his table, of being anything more than a literary 
dilettante with a more or less general interest in public affairs. 
The upshot was that, at House's suggestion, McCombs, late in 
November, brought the Governor to call on House, at his New 
York apartment. The wily Colonel made the most of this 
opportunity to ingratiate himself with Wilson. 

"It is such a pleasure," he said, "to meet one with whom 

* Gregory became Attorney General in Wilson's Cabinet and 
Sells, Commissioner of Indian Affairs. 


you are in complete accord." 103 ' 197 In his diary House tells the 
whole story quite differently from McCombs. 138 It proved, in 
any event, a fateful meeting, one which Sir Horace Plunkett 
later declared was to influence the history of the world. 

A consummate master of human nature, a trained and 
experienced political lobbyist, it is obvious from House's own 
statements that he had studied Wilson carefully long before this 
meeting. It was his part to lead Wilson by seeming complacence 
and submission. For it was well known that Wilson accepted 
guidance reluctantly. The day after their meeting, House wrote 
both Bryan and Culberson his impression of Wilson. He was 
one who must be "led gently." Unknown to McCombs, they met 
again within a week, and dined alone. 

It did not take House long to discover both the irrepressible 
ambition that inspired Wilson, and the fear of war which stood 
like a leering monster in the path of its realization. These things 
were exactly what he needed. Given Wilson's Presbyterian 
conviction of predestination, how easy it was for House, with 
his adroit hands, to thrum the strings of Wilson's emotional 
nature — ambition, fear, and finally the pride of religious faith! 
Soon he was reading and discussing Philip Dm with Wilson. 
Did Wilson himself suggest the premier idea? One can almost 
see House letting him visualize himself as the hero of the 
novel — as one whose ordained mission it was to champion 
humanity, to save mankind by preventing intervention in 
Mexico and a terrible war with Japan, a conflict that would 
almost certainly hasten the impending general conflict. This he 
must do after revising the tariff, by giving to the world that 
moral leadership for which, as declared by Page, it was crying. 
Also, as postulated by House, to the end that the league of 
nations of which men had dreamed so long, might be formed at 
last! Was it not through such an association alone that war was 
to be prevented, that Wilson as President might most surely 
liberate the oppressed peoples of the earth by abolishing the old 
order, just as Philip Dru had been made to do, uplift mankind, 
lead the rulers of the 


world to the holy sacrament of the peace commission for 
which Carnegie was erecting a temple at the Hague? Why 
then, need he fear war at all? 

Then there were the great social and political reforms to be 
worked out in America, so as to save democracy and the 
Republic of Washington from the radicals. Should Wilson join 
the Internationalists, might he not go down in history as among 
the world's greatest men, possibly as the greatest of his age? 

There is little doubt that the promptings of House, and the 
picture painted by him in Philip Dm: Administrator, had made 
a profound impression upon Wilson before he and House had 
known each other a fortnight; that his lingering fear of war was 
no longer sufficient to cause him to abandon his old ambition 
to become President. 

While House was weaving his web about Wilson, Un- 
derwood, preparatory to his own candidacy, made a strong 
demand in the Senate for a general downward revision of the 
tariff; and even Taft advocated a reduction on wool. Wilson had 
long been a free trader. It was presently arranged by McCombs 
for Wilson to make a vigorous assault upon the whole 
protective system before the Democratic Club of New York on 
January 3rd, and for the New York Times to report his views 
fully. Much pleased, House suggested that he be allowed to 
summon his friend David Houston, a professor at Washington 
College, Missouri, and a reputed expert on tariff questions. 
Accordingly, at a dinner given by House on December 9th, 
Houston first met Wilson. The following day he wrote 
President Mezes of the College of the City of New York, that 
Wilson "is a great man, with great ideas, and ought to be made 
'dictator' of the United States. " * 103 

The necessity of freeing Wilson from the control of Harvey 
and McCombs who were both ardent Nationalists, was obvious 
to House. Two days after the Houston dinner, Wilson lunched 
with Harvey, Watterson, and McCombs at the Manhattan Club, 
and served the famous 

* See House's article in Liberty Magazine, January, 1933, 
Does the United States Need a Dictator? 


"cocktail" to the man who had made him Governor. Un- 
doubtedly with the approval, if not at the suggestion of House, 
Wilson now told Harvey that his editorial support was no longer 
needed, that it was hurting him.* This he had already intimated 
to Page. 

Thereupon House wrote Bryan that he knew all about 
Harvey's dismissal, "more perhaps than any one else." 
Evidently he was trying to curry favor for Wilson with Bryan, 
by showing how eager Wilson was to hold himself entirely 
aloof from the "interests." For even if Bryan could not obtain 
the nomination, he could almost certainly dictate whither it 
should go. 

In vain the astonished McCombs protested against Wilson's 
abrupt dismissal of Harvey. Wilson saw no reason why Harvey 
should take offense. The great editor immediately announced 
that Harper's Weekly would no longer feature Wilson. When 
Mrs. Wilson learned from McCombs what had happened, she 
wept, and Wilson, alarmed at last, asked McCombs to 
"straighten the matter out," while he himself hastened to write 
Harvey. There was no response. He wrote again for a while 
with the same result. Eventually Harvey replied that it was too 
late to change his announcement. 

At this juncture the controversy between Washington and 
St. Petersburg over the pogroms and the Jewish passport 
question came to a head. Prompt to make political capital for 
the Democratic party, the New York Times pointed out on 
December nth, that Switzerland had been made to accept 
Jewish passports, and called on Congress to declare the treaty 
of commerce and navigation with Russia, which had been in 
effect since 1832, annulled by breach on the part of Russia. In 
vain the Hon. Curtis Guild, Taft's Ambassador to St. 
Petersburg, insisted that the Russian Government had as much 
right to refuse passports to undesirable Jews, as the United 
States had to refuse them to certain Asiatic subjects of the Czar. 
The Jewish interests were determined to have their way. On 

* The story of the luncheon was recorded by Harvey. See 
George Harvey, Passionate Patriot. Johnson. 


the 16th Mr. Sulzer of New York introduced a resolution in the 
House declaring the treaty abrogated as of January 

1, 1912. This naturally gave great offense to the Russian 
Government. Nevertheless, unable to resist the political 
pressure brought to bear upon him, Taft, the great exponent of 
arbitration, recommended on the following day the abrogation 
of the treaty. Instantly Congress passed the Sulzer Resolution. 
Thereupon it was announced in the press that both Russia and 
Germany intended to wage a tariff war against the United 
States. Meantime Watterson had been setting the South aflame 
with the Harvey story, from Richmond to Charlotte. Again 
Wilson was branded as a base ingrate; and all the good work 
Harvey had done in the South was nullified. 

These were dark days for Wilson. He was now almost 
hostile in his curtness to and disregard of McCombs, and 
ignoring Page entirely. House had his entire confidence, and 
had supplanted all others. 

Having declined Watterson's suggestion to solicit funds 
from Thomas Fortune Ryan, or to accept a donation from Josiah 
Quincy, the great Boston banker, who was under indictment, 
McCombs was in a desperate situation. His financial resources 
were at an end. In this situation, Quincy arranged for Frederick 
C. Penfield, a former student under Wilson at Princeton, to give 
the Governor a dinner preceding his tariff speech. Quincy, 
Commodore Benedict, and McCombs were the other guests. 
Wilson went even farther than Underwood in condemning a 
protective tariff, much to the satisfaction of the International- 
ists. After the speaking, Penfield gave McCombs $10,000, 
specifying that it was to be used to employ a publicity agent for 

Marburg noted the headway Wilson was making, and felt 
that he was well on his way to capture him for the 
Internationalists. Apparently he agreed with his friend, Rabbi 
Stephen S. Wise, that if there were to be a Democratic 
president, Wilson would be preferable to Bryan. 

* Penfield was later appointed Minister to Austria-Hungary. 


Nor was the wise Rabbi the only member of his race who 
believed this. The upshot was that, thoroughly alive to the value 
of the Jewish vote, Wilson agreed to speak in Carnegie Hall on 
the subject of the Russian treaty and the passport question. This 
speech was one of the most idealistic he had ever made. 138 The 
Jews were greatly pleased. Within a few days Henry 
Morgenthau and Abram L. Elkus, both prominent 
representatives of their race, tendered to McCombs their 
support of Wilson, with whom it was arranged that Morgenthau 
should serve as Chairman of Wilson's campaign finance 
committee. It was distinctly understood among the three that 
McCombs would urge Morgenthau's appointment as Secretary 
of the Treasury, and the appointment of Elkus to an important 
ambassadorial post.* 

Bernard Baruch also now came out strongly for Wilson. 
With no experience in "big business," thus insidiously, 
gradually, surely, Wilson was being obligated to Jewish 
financiers, while being committed, unknown to McCombs, to 
the program of the Internationalists. 

Soon McCombs called on Morgenthau to execute a note for 
$350,000, endorsed by himself. Morgenthau and Elkus 
collaborated, and returned with $70,000. It was with this 
money, Penfield's contribution, and that which McCombs had 
raised among the Princetonians, that McCombs undertook to 
secure Wilson's nomination. Seeing the way the wind was 
blowing, McAdoo, after long hesitation, took his own hat out of 
the ring, and also declared for Wilson. At once he and Tumulty 
united against McCombs to control Wilson's affairs, while 
House returned to Texas to round up the state delegates. 

Meanwhile, the whole world seemed threatened with 
calamity. The Balkans were seething with unrest. Every 
chancellery in Europe was involved, Russia and the Dual 
Monarchy being particularly interested. While the Japanese 
were sharpening their bayonets, Madero was having 

* Later, after he had availed himself of Morgenthau's 
services, Wilson repudiated this agreement; Morgenthau and 
Elkus were compelled to divide a four-year ambassadorship to 


a desperate time maintaining himself. In Germany the truffle 
between the Social Democrats and the Kaiser at the head of the 
militarists was intense. Homer Lea now published his 
sensational Day of the Saxon, in which he declared that the 
Pan-Germans were ready to assail the Triple Entente, while 
Japan contemplated taking advantage of a European war to 
effect a footing in Mexico before proceeding against the United 
States. Such was the situation when, in January, 1912, the 
British Government found itself under irresistible pressure, 
according to Lord Grey, to reopen negotiations with Berlin, 
looking to a naval holiday and a general disarmament pact. 92a 

The world was set agog over Haldane's new mission. 

In promoting the Anglo-American accord, the Inter- 
nationalists had not been able to overcome the Anglophobia 
which had become a traditional part of American politics, 
especially among the Democratic elements of the populous 
centers. When, therefore, at the Lord Mayor's luncheon to the 
officers and men of an American ship, Commodore Sims 
declared that, in an emergency, America would stand by 
Britain, just as the British had stood by the American Navy at 
Tutuila and Manila, a frenzy of anti-British sentiment broke 
out. Congress demanded that Taft reprimand Sims, which was 
done. Roosevelt was furious. 

One of the most discouraging things for the Internationalists 
occurred, when, in February, instead of coming out to form a 
third party, Roosevelt announced his candidacy for the 
Republican nomination. The Haldane mission, meanwhile, 
proved a complete failure, since the German Militarists saw that 
their very life was at stake. Already a war was in progress in the 
Balkans, which was full of dynamite for the peacemakers. All 
this was naturally unpalatable to the Internationalists. 

Wilson, too, was much discouraged by these untoward 
developments. Nor did the early primaries go well for him. 
Clark and Underwood seemed to be stronger candidates, until, 
in March, House wrote Wilson that he had Texas in "good 
shape," and in April returned to New York, satisfied that he 
could deliver the delegation. 


Bryan and House both felt that Roosevelt was still likely to 
oppose Taft, if he did not get the Republican nomination, and 
until this was decided, House continued, as shown by his own 
correspondence, to ride the Bryan, Wilson, and Culberson 

The Sims incident had an early repercussion. The Irish were 
determined to defeat both Roosevelt and Taft. Accordingly, led 
by Senator O'Gorman of New York, the arch twister of the 
Lion's tail, they began to agitate, no doubt encouraged by 
Japanese and German propaganda, for a Panama Tolls 
Exemption Act, in direct violation of the Hay-Pauncefote 
Treaty. Again the Republicans in Congress were powerless to 
resist the popular demand, in which Gompers, at the head of 
Organized Labor, took an important part. 

Thayer and a score of others have undertaken to explain the 
irrevocable breach which now occurred between Roosevelt and 
Root. None of them even intimate what was probably the major 
cause. The Internationalists were determined that Roosevelt 
should not have the Republican nomination because of his 
opposition to their scheme, and Root was President of the 
Carnegie Endowment which was backing it. Seeing that 
Roosevelt would probably be induced to run on an independent 
Republican ticket, House concluded that Bryan was likely to be 
elected at last, if he could secure the Democratic nomination. 
Was it not time for him to suppress his Wilson enthusiasm? At 
any rate, on May 1st, he prepared to write Culberson that Bryan 
was likely to be the Democratic choice. More than once a 
professor from Princeton now urged McCombs, at Wilson's 
instance, to abandon his efforts. Was House trying to dissuade 
Wilson from his candidacy? 

At this juncture Hamilton Holt published Marburg's 
Backward Nation in the Independent. This was an argument for 
international cooperation to prevent the selfish exploitation of 
such countries as Mexico. Obviously Marburg had Japan in 
mind. His latest appeal was published by the Berne Peace 
Society, and reprinted over and 


over in Europe and America. Statesmen like Bryce, Count 
Apponyi, and the Internationalists and Socialists everywhere, 
commended it. 

By this time almost the entire South had gone against 
Wilson, while it was obvious that Root, Choate, Butler, Straus, 
and Marburg, were sparing no effort to nominate Taft with 
Carnegie's money. In his Why Should We Change Our Form of 
Government?, Butler had just made a strong attack upon Bryan, 
and, at Lake Mohonk in May, he delivered an address — The 
International Mind — in which, as usual, only part of what was 
behind the peace movement was disclosed. Immediately 
thereafter, House took McCombs to Beverly, and, according to 
the latter, urged him to swing Wilson's delegates to Culberson. 
This he probably deemed the best means of corraling them for 
Bryan. McCombs at last suspected House of intriguing, and 
scorned the suggestion. He felt sure of capturing the forty Texas 
delegates for Wilson, which, early in June, proved correct. 

Some one whom House had met in New York now tried to 
intervene between House and Wilson. Knowing this, House 
wrote the latter to pay no heed to this adviser. Who was it? Was 
it perhaps Page or Dodge? At any rate, Wilson assured House 
he would ignore the proffered counsel in the future. 103 

Day of all days for Wilson! On June 22nd with Root as 
Chairman of the Republican Convention, representing the 
Carnegie interests, despite the most valiant efforts of Roosevelt, 
Taft was nominated, and forthwith the Progressives decided to 
reassemble in Chicago six weeks later, and nominate Roosevelt 
on the "Bull Moose" ticket! 211 

Much encouraged, McCombs next day established the 
Wilson Headquarters in Baltimore. Two days before the 
Democratic Convention, House wrote Wilson that he was 
compelled to go to Europe at once. He added that he had fully 
instructed McCombs how to handle the Convention, and that, in 
the event Wilson was nominated, he would hasten back to help 
him further, should this be required. 


It was the old trick of the professional politician. He must never 
be caught on the wrong bandwagon! 

To what extent House had already committed Wilson to the 
program of Philip Dm cannot be said, but obviously there was a 
very good understanding between them. Did he go to Europe to 
discover from Marburg just how far Root and the 
Internationalists would support either Bryan or Wilson, if one 
or the other were elected? The visit is shrouded in mystery. 

Among other things the Democratic platform pledged the 
party to a downward revision of the tariff, a Panama Tolls 
Exemption Act, and a single presidential term, in order to 
discredit Roosevelt. Despite Wilson's treatment of Harvey and 
the latter's personal feelings, Harvey was on hand working for 
Wilson's nomination, in order to dispose of Bryan forever. 
Bryan made a tremendous effort to gain control of the 
Convention. Harvey scared the Tammany and other Democratic 
bosses. If Bryan were nominated, it would go hard with them! 
He also played a clever trick on Bryan, who still deemed him 
his own friend. The Virginians fought Wilson bitterly. They 
were for any one to beat Wilson. "What has he ever done for 
the Democratic party, except try to ruin it," demanded Martin 
and Flood of Virginia. 

The Convention was soon deadlocked. Tumulty declares 
that McCombs urged Wilson to withdraw. The evidence seems 
to be conclusive that this could not have been true. ' 
McCombs insists in his detailed record of the Convention that, 
under the influence of Senator Stone of Missouri, Wilson 
authorized the withdrawal of his name from consideration. At 
any rate, on the forty-third ballot, Roger Sullivan, the great 
Illinois "Boss," and the friend of McCombs, by agreement 
between them, finally broke the deadlock in favor of Wilson. 
Bryan now gave up the fight, and threw his support to Wilson, 
possibly under an agreement of long standing with House. 
Thereupon the Convention stampeded for Wilson, who was 
nominated with Thomas R. Marshall of Indiana as his running 


Thus, a second time, Wilson owed his success to a political 
boss, to say nothing of Harvey who, as shown, was little 
concerned with idealistic principles when it came to politics. 
For the moment, the Virginia bosses were disconsolate. Wilson 
was never to forget that they had opposed him.* 

* Richmond Times Despatch, editorial, December, 1912. 



Wilson Attributes His Nomination to Providence. Demo- 
cratic Chaos. McCombs Versus the McAdoo-Tumulty 
Cabal. House's Tour of Europe. Returning, He Establishes a 
Complete Ascendency Over Wilson. They Plan to Detach 
Britain from Japan by Repealing the Panama Tolls 
Exemption Act. House Dictates the Appointment of the 
"Apostle of Peace" as Secretary of State. Wilson Elected. 
House Becomes "Silent Partner." The National Committee 
Ignored in the Selection of the Cabinet. House Confers with 
the Bankers on the Currency and Tariff. Wilson and House 
Publish "The New Freedom," and "Philip Dm: 

McADOO SAW in the nomination of Wilson a great 
opportunity for himself. Before the convention was 
over, he proceeded to Sea Girt to claim the National 
Chairmanship. Learning of this, McCombs, though he had 
suffered a physical collapse, rose from his bed, and raced after 

The usual number of belated enthusiasts were crowding 
around the nominee, putting forth claims based on all manner of 

McCombs looked, not unnaturally, for some expression of 
appreciation from Wilson who, however, was not disposed to 
evaluate very highly his campaign manager's contribution to the 
result. McAdoo, Tumulty, and the others had left little for him. 
"Providence," Wilson declared frigidly to McCombs, "has 
dictated the nomination." 138 

In the light of what has been said, one need not be surprised 
at this remark. As a Presbyterian with Wilson's philosophy and 
background sees it, there is no egotism, no personal conceit 
whatever in attributing one's individual 


success to the Almighty. It was not, therefore, as supposed by 
McCombs and others, that Wilson, in his egotism, ignored the 
parts played by Harvey, Page, Smith, Nugent, Penfield, 
Morgenthau, Sullivan, McCombs, and others, and that, not once 
but many times, it had been within the power of a single man to 
prevent the realization of Wilson's life-long ambition. House 
had made him distrustful of others, and he was particularly 
aggrieved by the ceaseless harping of McCombs upon the one 
term promise, which he had been compelled to confirm. 
Moreover, the idea of the holy mission of preserving world 
peace with which he had been charged, had been ding-donged 
into his head by House so ceaselessly that he seems to have 
looked upon the undoubted contributions of individuals to his 
election, as themselves nothing more than providential acts. 

Nevertheless, there were those who, in spite of McCombs' 
patent limitations, did not underestimate his services. Certainly 
McAdoo had no claim superior to his. Therefore, after the lapse 
of a fortnight of uncertainty, and upon the virtual demands of 
Cleveland H. Dodge, Josephus Daniels, William Mitchell 
Palmer, and others, McCombs was designated by Wilson to be 
Chairman, and McAdoo Assistant Chairman. 

Congress now passed the Panama Tolls Exemption Act, a 
measure almost universally deemed an unconscionable violation 
of a treaty obligation. Page was bitter, and damned the party 
whole-heartedly. Henceforth it was war to the death between 
him and Bryan, who had supported the measure principally 
because it was anti-British. At the same time the California 
Legislature passed a Japanese Exclusion Act that served to 
consolidate Anglo-Japanese feeling against America. Soon a 
fight between McCombs and the McAdoo-Tumulty Cabal was 
in progress. Coupled with the Democratic policies mentioned, it 
might have wrecked the Democratic campaign, had it not been 
for the Roosevelt-Taft schism with its promise of an ultimate 
victory for Wilson. 103 ' 108 ' 138 ' 192 ' 215 

House deemed Wilson's nomination tantamount to his 
election. Landing in England, he proceeded to France and 


thence to Geneva, where Marburg made his summer head- 
quarters in those days. Something happened there — no one 
knows what. In any event, House changed his plans, and visited 
Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia as far east as Moscow, and 

It is significant that Mrs. Bryan kept him posted throughout 
the summer. He worked on Philip Dru all the way over and all 
the way back. Upon his return, late in August, he set out at once 
to commit Wilson finally to the scheme of enforcing peace upon 
the world. Nor is there any doubt that he was soon in intimate 
contact with Dodge, who had access to Root, Butler, Taft and 

At the supreme moment in Wilson's life, did he ask himself 
what had evolved out of the toil of the ages, what had come of 
the martyrdom of man, what had history to yield for the 
guidance of an American statesman? Was the humble Nazarene 
called the Christ, still the wisest man who had ever lived? Was 
the spiritual democracy of His government perhaps the ideal 
system of life? Had He not shown that in truth alone, rather 
than in the pomp of power, was to be founded the kingdom 
through which mankind might hope with reason to establish 
universal peace and find salvation? 

As we picture Wilson standing at the fateful cross roads 
whither he had now come, with the sign Hoc Signo Vinces 
staring him in the face, many thoughts come to mind. We see 
the garden of Gethsemane, the cross, the hostile multitude, 
Jesus staggering onward and upward under his self-imposed 
burden, but never faltering in the resolve to save mankind 
through the sheer power of truth. And again we see Page 
pleading with Wilson that day in July, 1910, urging him to give 
to the American people the fearless leadership they craved. 

Why did Wilson now abandon Page for House, fail to come 
out boldly and speak the truth that both the Pacifists and the 
Internationalists were concealing, call the Panama Tolls 
Exemption Act what he knew it to be, appeal to the country to 
gird itself for war against the evil forces 


threatening not only its economic and physical security but its 
traditional policy of national independence? 

How did he fail to see the sign of the cross, and allow 
himself to be misled by a false guide? How did this new tragedy 
in the martyrdom of man come about? 

Under the urgings of Page and Harvey, both ardent 
Democratic Nationalists, Wilson had abandoned his Federalist 
principles to assume the leadership of their party. Was it not 
obvious, with Roosevelt and Bryan both opposing a league of 
nations, that a president must have the support of Carnegie and 
the Internationalists if he were to prevent war? Was it not his 
duty to transform the Democratic party by leading it from its 
traditional Nationalism to the Internationalism through which 
alone humanity could be served? How could this be fairly 
construed as a betrayal of the Democratic party? Aside from 
this, was party principle to be put above the interests of 

In addition to these ceaseless promptings of House, there 
were considerations of practical expediency that no ambitious 
politician could ignore. In order to serve mankind, Wilson must 
first be elected. The moralists of the world had not been 
practical politicians. Was it not the political bishops who had 
built up, plank by plank, the platform upon which Christianity 
had eventually prevailed over the hostile forces of Rome? 
Certainly it was not good politics to allow Taft to claim 
undisputed the great Internationalist vote that Carnegie and 
Marburg had developed through more than a decade of 
propaganda. Their program might not be ideal, but was this the 
time to try to improve upon it? Once elected, he could amend 
this course according to circumstances. 

Once Wilson had been committed to the Internationalist 
cause, House became indispensable to him in dealing with both 
the Internationalists and with Bryan, whose confidence House 
still possessed. They were soon in accord as to the tactics to be 
employed by Wilson, nor is it difficult to construct from their 
subsequent acts and statements the plan on which they agreed. 
Wilson must say nothing which would estrange Bryan and the 
Nationalists, about being 


committed to a league of nations, but, in discreet silence, allow 
Roosevelt to gore Taft to death over the latter's In- 
ternationalism. Therefore it was decided to postpone the 
publication of Philip Dm until after the election, and then bring 
it out as part of the general program of education. Wilson must 
endorse the Panama Tolls Exemption Act in order not to offend 
Bryan and the anti-British elements. He need say no more about 
a single term, since the Democratic pledge was apt to prove 
more of an embarrassment to him than to Roosevelt. About 
Labor, Currency, and Tariff Revision, he might talk as much as 
he pleased. 

Inasmuch as Japan seemed bent upon effecting a territorial 
lodgment in the western hemisphere before the opening of the 
Panama Canal, no effort was to be spared, as part and parcel of 
the Internationalist scheme, to consolidate the Latin Americans 
behind the established Pan-American policy. Since thorough 
understanding and cooperation between the British and 
American governments were essential to the formation of a 
league of nations, and Japan was taking advantage of the 
present Anglo-American estrangement over the Panama Tolls 
Exemption Act, it would be absolutely necessary for Wilson to 
secure the repeal of the obnoxious Act after his election, even 
though he must at present endorse it. That would be the consid- 
eration to be offered Great Britain for preventing Japanese and 
European interference in Mexican affairs. 

A very definite military policy must also be pursued, one 
that would insure the protection of the border, without inciting 
aggressive action by Japan. If the sudden increase of the armed 
forces for which the American "militarists" were calling was 
allowed, Japan might, as a matter of military expediency, seize 
America's Pacific possessions which, in the opinion of military 
experts, she was quite capable of doing. Meanwhile, any 
administration measures looking to the enlargement of the 
Army and Navy would be opposed by Bryan and the Pacifists 
generally, while an ostensibly pacific policy would insure their 
support. Therefore, as a safeguard against present dangers, the 
militia was to be utilized to the fullest possible extent, but for 
the alleged 


purpose of maintaining neutrality between the United States 
and Mexico, rather than as a threat to Japan. Finally, while 
Carnegie, Marburg and their cohorts were doing their best to 
detach Britain from Japan and prevent a Euro-pean War, Wilson 
was to draw Japan into diplomatic negotiations that would 
prevent a breach, establish the best possible relations with the 
A.B.C. powers of South America, secretly organize the 
necessary political support in Congress for the early repeal of 
the Panama Tolls Exemption Act, and for the present, at least, 
discourage military legislation in every way possible. 

Bryan was always opposed to any dealings with Great 
Britain, since Anglophobia was a part of his democracy, and to 
internationalism in any form. It would not be difficult, however, 
to overcome his opposition to the repeal of the Panama Tolls 
Exemption Act, if he were shown that peace depended upon it. 
He could be kept happily engaged, negotiating the treaties 
which he had long been advocating, binding nations to refrain 
from war until a year after the rendition of an arbitral judgment. 
Based on the principle that with the lapse of time popular 
passions would cool, such treaties would work in well with the 
general peace scheme. He would almost certainly wreck the 
administration if left out of it, nor would he accept a secondary 
place. Therefore, in Wilson's own interest, the "Great 
Commoner" and "Apostle of Peace" must be offered the 
premier portfolio — Secretary of State. Thus only could he be 

The necessity of appointing Bryan was a bitter pill for 
Wilson to swallow. He deemed him unsound in all his 
economic theories and little short of a fanatic. 103 Yet there was 
no denying the force of House's arguments. Self-protection 
demanded this, and, according to House, it was agreed upon in 

It seems that Marburg, who had contributed handsomely to 
Taft's campaign, had arranged for his own appointment as 
Ambassador to Belgium in order that he might carry on the 
Internationalist plan. Through the other ambassadors, House, as 
super-ambassador, was to 


function over the head of the Secretary of State, while the latter 
occupied himself negotiating his pet treaties and fighting 
military legislation. The cabinet was to be selected with regard 
to the general scheme of foreign and domestic policies. There 
was to be a rapid consummation of the sweeping currency 
reforms for which Aldrich and others had already prepared the 
country, labor laws designed to prevent strikes and boycotts 
and to win the support of labor, a revision of the tariff that 
would favor the South and the West at the expense of the 
plutocratic sections of the country, a Federal Trades Act, "an 
alluring program of farm relief," etc., etc. just as proposed by 
Philip Dru. 10 106 ' 114 No measure was to be neglected that might 
compel Democratic reforms in Germany, Russia, the Dual 
Monarchy, and Turkey; and to this end Wilson was to bend his 
best efforts, speaking often to the masses of Europe. Should it 
prove impossible for the Internationalists to prevent a European 
conflict, he was to proclaim the neutrality of the United States 
in the name of humanity at once, and give the Triple Entente 
free access to American munitions. After the Pan-Germans had 
learned the futility of militarism through defeat, he was to offer 
mediation. Were it accepted, he was then to propose a general 
disarmament pact as the basis of a league of nations, as well as 
the sweeping democratic reforms that were necessary to end the 
spread of radicalism. 

Unsuspected by McCombs, Harvey, Page, Bryan, or any of 
the leaders of the Democratic party, Wilson's Internationalism 
appears to have progressed to this point by October ist. 

In the light of what has been said, the fateful moment when 
Wilson cast his lot with the Internationalists, looms like a 
sinister cloud above the horizon of his career. Looking back, we 
see a world pleading for guidance along the way of truth, while 
we see him, blinded by ambition, unconsciously sacrificing a 
kingdom to his pride of power. The words of Milton come to 
us — Paradise Lost — Prometheus Bound! For now Wilson could 
not say until it was too late: "Enough of this shrewd politics, the 
secret diplomacy, 


the false history, and the lying that are setting the nations at 
each other's throats." He could not assail the radicals without 
regard to nationality, or dispel their dream of breaking down the 
capitalistic order. On the contrary, he must remain silent, while 
actually encouraging all these ugly evils through an 
irresponsible and unscrupulous deputy. 

How much support did Wilson get from the Pacifists? 
We do not know. We do know that in September the five 
addresses that Butler had made at Lake Mohonk during the past 
six years, advocating arbitration and a world court, were 
collected in a single volume, and published under the title of 
The International Mind as an argument against both Roosevelt 
and Bryan. Ostensibly an argument for the judicial settlement of 
international disputes, the book, in fact, supported Marburg's 
league to enforce peace. 

"The establishment of an independent international court of 
justice to hear and to decide causes between nations, will not 
make war impossible," the author admitted in his preface, and 
then went on to point out that, behind such a court, there must 
be a disposition on the part of the nations "to cooperate in 
enforcement." Taft was everywhere deemed not only the 
candidate of Wall Street, but of Carnegie. Root's support of him 
was probably the greatest single blow Roosevelt received, 
inasmuch as it virtually gave the conservative Republican vote 
to Taft, in addition to that of the great financial houses behind 
the Internationalist movement. 

The fact is that, though not understood at the time, the 
presidential campaign of 1912 was to see an entirely new 
alignment of forces — Republican Internationalists and 
Bourbons, Republican Nationalists and anti-Bourbons, and a 
combination of anti-British elements, Bryanites, Southern 
Sectionalists, and the old copperhead type of Democrats, who 
were still talking of decentralism, and popular and states rights. 

Unfortunately for the Internationalists, the savage Huerta, 
who had overthrown Madero early in October, caused him, with 
his Secretary of War, to be assassinated. 


Thereupon Huerta, with bold effrontery, called upon Taft for 
recognition. A new revolution led by Carranza at the head of 
the self-styled Constitutionalists with the assistance of Villa, a 
capable soldier, developed shortly thereafter. Though the border 
states clamored for intervention, it failed to become a campaign 
issue, because the Bryanites, Pacifists, and Internationalists all 
opposed it. Taft simply ignored Huerta, and merely placed a 
heavier guard along the border to satisfy the Pacifists and take 
the wind out of the "Apostle of Peace." This course was 
thoroughly consonant with Blaine's and Root's Pan-American 

While Root, Marburg and Butler labored with the British 
Internationalists to prevent a possible violation of the Monroe 
Doctrine by European interference in Mexican affairs, 
Democratic Headquarters fell into a state of utter chaos. With 
McCombs confined to a hospital, McAdoo, as Vice-Chairman, 
reversed all the Chairman's arrangements, and tried, with the 
cooperation of House and Tumulty, to oust the sick man from 
office. For a while it looked as if Wilson would let them have 
their way. When, however, the National Committee, at the 
instance of McCombs' friends, protested, and a fatal split in the 
Democratic organization was threatened, Wilson consented to 
McCombs' calling on Harvey to manage the campaign. With 
admirable magnanimity, Harvey agreed, no doubt at the in- 
stance of Page and other sensible Democrats, while McAdoo 
was compelled to resign. To save the situation, Wilson now 
publicly announced that there was no friction at Headquarters; 
but although Harvey quickly reestablished order, there was no 
personal contact whatever between him and Wilson, for House 
had supplanted all others in Wilson's confidence. Indeed, even 
while Harvey heroically ran the campaign, House boasted in 
letters to his Internationalist friends, that he had been entrusted 
with the task of locating likely cabinet material for Wilson. 

A week before election, the shrewd Harvey congratulated 
Wilson upon what he foresaw as the certain result. On 
November 4, 1912, Woodrow Wilson was chosen Presi- 


dent of the United States by little more than a third of the 
voters, just as predicted by the man who had made him 
President at last! 

The country was momentarily too amazed to grasp the full 
significance of what had happened. With the impetuosity of a 
bull moose, Roosevelt had rent the Republican party in twain. 
Moreover, in his overconfidence, and by the very violence of 
his uncompromising assault upon the Panama Tolls Exemption 
Act, coupled with his urgent recommendation that the Panama 
question be settled by arbitration, he had driven many 
Republican Anglophobes into the Democratic ranks. In effect, 
he and the Carnegie group under Root's leadership had 
contributed equally to the election of Wilson. 

There was no particular uproar over the result like that 
attending the great popular revolts resulting in the overthrow of 
the Bourbons by Jefferson, Jackson and Cleveland. Roosevelt 
had made considerable inroads upon Bryan's strength in certain 
quarters, as the Democratic bosses generally did not trust him. 
Meanwhile Tammany had knifed the "Jersey Boss Buster" to 
the delight of Smith and Nugent. On the other hand, Watterson, 
Hemphill, Howell and the leading Southern editors had found 
no more enthusiasm in their work than Bryan, Martin, Swan- 
son, and Flood in Virginia. 

McCombs was now a physical and financial wreck. Hailed, 
like Harvey, as a hero, he received no thanks from Wilson for 
his labors. On the contrary, while thoroughly discredited by the 
McAdoo-Tumulty-House cabal, he was again told by Wilson 
that the result was due to Providence rather than to him or 

There was a question whether Wilson himself could much 
longer stand the terrific strain to which he was subject. It was 
insisted that he take a rest. Therefore, after refusing to discuss 
appointments with McCombs or confer with any of the 
Democratic leaders, he placed the tentative selection of his 
cabinet and ambassadors in House's hands, and, on November 
15th, sailed for Bermuda to be 


gone a month. Until his departure House never let him far out 
of his sight.* 

Within a week, Marburg was appointed minister to Belgium 
by Taft to succeed Larz Anderson, whose retirement excited no 
particular comment. Soon agreements binding the United 
States, Britain, and France to submit their disputes, even where 
points of national honor were involved, to a World Court, were 
referred to the Senate by Taft. The Democrats saw that this was 
but a means of compelling a repeal of the Panama Tolls 
Exemption Act. Therefore the proposed treaties were rejected, 
despite all that Taft, Carnegie, and the Internationalists 
generally could do. Plainly the country was not yet ready to 
support Internationalism. Wilson saw that he must move 

Was House dealing honestly with Wilson? "Come," he said 
to McCombs one day, according to the latter, "let you and 
McAdoo and I get together, and we'll run the government for 
the next four years." 

Only now did McCombs realize the true situation. At first 
the other leaders were inclined to rebel against House. "What 
does it all mean?" Burleson enquired of Senator Gore. This 
other Texan was "no slouch" himself when it came to 
pussyfooting. Gore assured him that House could tread leaves 
more silently than a tiger. Aware of the necessity of placating 
Burleson, House soon joined him with McAdoo, Daniels, and 
Tumulty to take over the disposition of Democratic patronage, 
and promised him a Cabinet job. 

Wilson returned from Bermuda in mid-December. At once 
he tried to get out of appointing Bryan, heeding the uproar 
caused by the rumors of the selection of Bryan as Secretary of 
State. House held him to their previous agreement, as a matter 
of necessity. But, with House's approval, he simply refused to 
appoint Morgenthau Secretary of the Treasury, despite 
McCombs' promise. McAdoo was to have the post. 

* McCombs gives a strange picture of House and Wilson at 
this time. 


"Send him to Turkey," suggested House. 
"There ain't going to be no Turkey," Wilson replied. 
"Then let him go and look for one," was House's re-joinder. 
As for Elkus, he must divide the honor of an ambassaborial 
post with Morgenthau! 103 

Soon after Wilson's return, one of the travesties which 
characterize democracy occurred. Down in- Virginia, a 
celebration over Wilson's election in the form of a "home 
coming" to Staunton, which Wilson himself did not deem his 
home, had been arranged! The bosses — Martin, Swanson, and 
Flood — who had declaimed against him so boldly at Baltimore 
in June, were forced to sit meekly at the banquet given in honor 
of the so-called eighth Virginia President! The Richmond 
Times Despatch commented, in a sarcastic editorial, on the 
hypocrisy of it all. Wilson, it declared, was not in the least 

Before the New Year, House began holding conferences 
with the great bankers, with Wilson's consent, on the proposed 
currency and tariff acts, selecting Glass as the proponent of the 
measure. 89 According to House, Glass declared he knew 
nothing about currency matters, whereupon House undertook to 
coach him. House's plan, despite all protests, was to rush the 
Federal Reserve Act through Congress before all the patronage 
had been disposed of. 103 

Although McCombs was strongly backed for Attorney 
General, as well as for Secretary of the Treasury, now that 
Morgenthau was disposed of, the best that House could 
recommend for him was the Ambassadorship to France. Should 
he accept, this would serve to force his resignation as Chairman 
of the party. On the other hand, if he refused, he could not with 
justice claim that he had been ignored. But knowing that he was 
financially unable to accept the post, his friends at once saw the 
trick, and protested violently in the press. 

Again Wilson balked over Bryan's appointment. Hop-ing to 
get out of it, he offered House the Secretaryship of State. 
House's part in the Internationalist project, however, precluded 
the possibility of his holding office. On the 


other hand, the part he was playing was important enough. For 
when his authority to speak for the President in a certain 
important matter was challenged, Wilson said: "Mr. House is 
my second personality. He is my independent self. His thoughts 
and mine are one. If I were in his place, I would do just as he 
suggested ... If any one thinks he is reflecting my opinion by 
whatever he states, they are welcome to the conclusion." ' 3 
Thereupon Collier's Weekly gave House the title of Wilson's 
"Silent Partner." 

The time was at hand to prepare the country for what was to 
come. Wilson's friend and literary confidant had completed his 
skillful compilation of the President-elect's campaign 
utterances. These were published early in 1913 under the title of 
The New Freedom. In this book were reiterated all of Wilson's 
promises with respect to domestic reforms, to which the 
Democratic party had pledged itself, and his popularity was 
enormously enhanced. Still he wisely refrained from any 
mention of his foreign program, for which the country was to be 
prepared by House. Thoroughly committed to the incoming 
administration, Bryan was no longer deemed a danger. 
Therefore it was decided to publish Philip Dru: Administrator 

Although not deemed much of a novel, the distinctly 
revolutionary character of House's book attracted much 
attention from the press. Who was the author? For a while, few 
people suspected Wilson's "Silent Partner." In private letters, 
House admitted his purpose to make of the President 
"something of a premier." Soon after the appearance of Philip 
Dru, he disclosed his Internationalist scheme to Edward S. 
Martin, editor of Life. He was planning, he declared, to visit 
Europe soon, to effect an understanding between Great Britain, 
Germany, and the United States. 103 Thus it would appear that he 
had secured the support for Wilson of Root, Taft, and Marburg. 
Later the same month, he went to Florida to confer with Bryan, 
obviously for the purpose of preparing him for the part he must 
play. "He's pleased as punch," wrote House to 


Wilson. 103 Aside from insisting that a Catholic and a Jew he 
included in the Cabinet, Bryan had little to suggest. "He wants 
to help," was the final report. Wilson seems now to have been 
convinced that Bryan had been completely subdued by House, 
which explains his subsequent willingness to permit House to 
reduce the Secretary of State to the status of a figurehead. 

It also explains his final consent to include Bryan in his 
Cabinet as Secretary of State, a consent that could, in all 
likelihood, never have been secured, had he known that Bryan 
was by no means willing to play the figurehead completely or 

House was an adept in deception. Liberty of action on his 
part depended in large measure on a general impression that he 
was merely Wilson's "man Friday." He strove, therefore, from 
the first, to create this illusion. There is little merit in the 
contention of some of Wilson's unreasoning adherents that the 
veracity of House is questionable; and that he was, in reality, no 
more than a vain little "yes man" to his chief. That he was at 
least as often leader as he was follower, is plentifully evident 
from the virtual autobiography brought out under the title of 
The Real Colonel House by his literary agent in 1918, during 
the Presidency of Wilson. In that book, it is frankly stated that 
House's purpose from the first was to so transform the 
Democratic Party, as to permit of a virtual revolution in our 
form of government. Moreover, Philip Dru: Administrator, 
representing House's ideas prior to his first meeting with 
Wilson, was permitted to come out almost contemporaneously 
with Wilson's own New Freedom. The fact that Wilson was 
completely cognizant of these literary activities on the part of 
House, and that they continued to be close friends and allies, 
thereafter, is evidence enough of House's real status, and of 
Wilson's sympathy therewith. 

It is hardly to be denied that it was House, who brought 
Morgenthau, Elkus, Baruch, Rabbi Wise, and Morris into the 
Wilson camp. These powerful men were not of the type to deal 
with understrappers. It may be that House was aided in this 
alliance by his willingness to 


oppose the Czar, and encourage revolution in Russia. But in any 
event, the unique figure of House as a somewhat sinister chief 
of almost limitless power in the Wilson camp, stands out 
clearly, despite his detractors; and they have failed completely 
in their efforts to belittle him. Some of the men close to Wilson 
like Bainbridge Colby and Roland Morris, based their opinion 
of House as a mere "yes man." upon the fact that House, for 
reasons of his own, had nothing to say to them. He was willing 
to appear stupid at times, in his apparent lack of comprehension 
of their ideas, but he was, of course, never that. He began his 
conferences with those who would never have entertained in- 
dependent proposals of his own, by saying "The Governor 
thinks" or "The President wishes." Then he would create the 
impression of almost servile loyalty to his chief by defending 
the latter against all objections. The accord so achieved would 
be reported back to Wilson, and House's original desire carried 
out as if it had originated with the President. 

The final conference of the "Cabinet Makers" was held in 
House's apartment. The party chairman was overruled in every 
instance. Already House had dictated Bryan as Secretary of 
State, McAdoo as Secretary of the Treasury, Houston as 
Secretary of Agriculture, and Burleson as Postmaster General, 
all his personal friends. Daniels, Lane, William B. Wilson, 
Redfield, and McReynolds were now selected "more or less 
haphazardly," according to House, by joint agreement between 
Wilson and himself for Navy, Interior, Labor, Commerce and 
the Attorney -Generalship, respectively. Only the Secretary of 
War remained, next to the Secretary of State perhaps the most 
important post in 1913. Wilson and House could think of no 
suitable person. At the last moment Tumulty suggested Judge 
Garrison — a personal friend. Although neither Wilson nor 
House had ever met Garrison, he was selected.* 

* General Scott in his Memories of a Soldier, gives an 
interesting sidelight on Wilson's attitude toward this post in 
December, 1912, when he first met Wilson at his brother's 
home in Princeton. At that time, he was contemplating the 
appointment of William Mitchell Palmer! 


The best informed papers, naturally relying upon Mc- 
Combs for their prognostications, made a poor guess at the 
makeup of the Cabinet that was finally announced late in 
February. No one was more amazed than Page, who had been 
omitted, after serious consideration, because of his strong 
Nationalist and British sympathies, which were objectionable to 
Bryan, to Tammany Hall, and to the anti-British elements of the 
party. Judging the Cabinet by its lack of prestige, he deemed it 
decidedly inferior. Was the South to run the Administration? If 
so, he believed it doomed. He did not understand that Wilson 
proposed, with House's aid, to run the Administration himself; 
and that Southern predominance in the Cabinet was necessary, 
to enable the partners to lead the most strongly Nationalistic 
section of the country away from Bryan. 

The National Committee, too, was astonished. Mor-genthau 
and Elkus especially felt aggrieved by Wilson's breach of what 
they deemed at least an implied promise to them through 
McCombs acceptance of their financial aid. McCombs had long 
since seen that House was out "to get him." Accordingly, with 
the help of Morgenthau and Elkus, he succeeded in 
consolidating a majority in the National Committee against the 
House-McAdoo-Burleson-Daniels Southern coterie. Standing 
by him, on March 3rd, the Committee resolved that all 
patronage was to be handled by the Chairman. To this Wilson 
felt compelled to agree, at least momentarily, on the eve of his 
inauguration, for the sake of apparent harmony. 138 As we shall 
see, neither he nor House had the slightest idea of permanently 
recognizing McCombs' authority. 


Part II 




(March 4, 1913— August 1, 1914) 


The Significance of Wilson's Inaugural Address, Indicating 
that He is to be His Own Secretary of State. The "Silent 
Partner." General Wood Retained as Chief of Staff. Scott 
Promoted and Ordered to Washington as Wood's 
Prospective Successor. 

ON MARCH 4, 1913, Woodrow Wilson took oath of office, 
as the first Democratic President since Cleveland. He had, 
in concert with House, prepared himself long and 
carefully to assume the role of champion of humanity, as well 
as champion of Democracy ! 

During the inauguration, the "Silent Partner" was much in 
evidence at the White House as guest of the President. 
McCombs and the National Committeemen were in the 
background. It had been arranged to give the inaugural address 
a spectacular setting. The Corps of the two National Academies, 
representing the power of the Nation, were suddenly drawn 
aside, to let the populace rush into the great space left in front of 
the speaker's stand before the Capitol. To the plain people 
massed around him, Wilson's message was addressed. 

"Your voice is the one for which I propose to listen; yours is 
the only dictation I will tolerate; there shall be no intermediary 
between the people and their government." So, in substance, he 
declared to the American people. 

With this democratic beginning, the voice of "The New 
Freedom" rose to great oratorical heights. To the thoughts of 
Jackson were now added two of Lincoln's — "This is the high 
enterprise of the new day: to lift everything that concerns our 
life as a nation to the light that shines from the hearth fire of 
every man's conscience and vision of right" ; 


"the feelings with which we face this new age of right and 
opportunity sweep across our heartstrings like some air out of 
God's own presence, where justice and mercy are reconciled, 
and the judge and brother are one." These were indeed great 

Next Wilson expressed the continuing conviction that the 
Government must amend its course, that it was his duty to 
transform it, to lead it along new paths, to set up "new 
standards," to make the "old humanities more human." 

"There has been a change of government. What does the 
change mean? It means much more than the success of a party. 
The success of a party means little, except when the nation is 
using that party for a large and definite purpose. No one can 
mistake the purpose for which the nation now seeks to use the 
Democratic party. It seeks to use it to interpret a change in its 
own plans and point of view. The great government we love has 
too often been used for private and selfish purposes, and those 
who used it, had forgotten the people. Our duty is to cleanse, to 
reconsider, to restore, to correct the evil without impairing the 
good, to purify and humanize every process of our common life 
without weakening or sentimentalizing it. We have made up our 
minds to square every process of our national life again with the 
standard we so proudly set up in the beginning, and have 
always coined in our hearts. . . . 

"The firm basis of government is justice, not pity. There can 
be no equality of opportunity, the first essential of justice in the 
body politic, if men and women and children be not shielded in 
their lives, their very vitality, from the consequences of great 
industrial and social processes which they cannot alter, control, 
or singly cope with. Society must see to it that it does not itself 
crush or weaken or damage its constituent parts. The first duty 
of law is to keep sound the society it serves. . . . 

"This is not a day of triumph; it is a day of dedication. Here 
muster, not the forces of party, but the forces of humanity. 
Men's hearts wait upon us: men's lives hang in the balance; 
men's hopes call upon us to say what we will do. God helping 
me, I will not fail them, if they will but counsel and sustain 
me." 190 

Not alone the country but the world was thrilled. The 
Internationalists saw with delight the extent to which House 
had committed Wilson to their cause. 


Houston, Tumulty, McCombs, and House have all described the 
inauguration in detail. As the President's Secretary, Tumulty, on 
March 5th, summoned the Cabinet to its first meeting. House 
had already obtained new important appointments. Alarmed by 
the rumor of a boast by McAdoo that he was to replace 
McCombs as Chairman, the National Committee met this same 
day, and denounced the flagrant and purposeful disregard of its 
authority by Wilson, in violation of the resolution it had passed 
two days before, and to which he had agreed. Thus the Ad- 
ministration began with a hostile party organization. Not only 
this, but with the chairman of almost every important committee 
in both houses from the South, the Northern wing wondered if 
anything was to be left it by the "hungry Dixie Democrats," 
who were also to dominate the Cabinet. Verily the day of 
recompense for the South was at hand! 195 

In General Wood, House, like Root, Taft and Marburg, had 
seen a valuable aid. Through him, eventually, the country must 
be armed to carry out the Internationalist program. Therefore, 
despite the persistent demand of Bryan and other Democrats 
that he be relieved as Chief of Staff, Garrison, on March 5th, 
notified Wood who had, according to custom, tendered his 
resignation as Chief of Staff to the new Secretary of War, that 
he should serve out his term of four years. At the same time, 
Wilson directed the promotion of Colonel Hugh L. Scott, 
formerly Superintendent of West Point and brother of a 
Princeton professor whom the President had met the preceding 
December. Eventually he was to be Chief of Staff. 

On March 6th, the Cabinet held its first regular meeting. 
Houston, like Page, deemed it a mediocre body. Wilson 
declared at once that he proposed to devote himself to the 
"graver problems" of the nation. No one present doubted that he 
had already formulated his major policies. 106 

After the meeting, Wilson laughed and joked with the 
"Silent Partner" about the Cabinet, describing the peculiarities 
of each of its members. A secret but readily decipherable code 
was now adopted. McCombs was desig- 


nated as Damon, McAdoo as Pythias, Bryan as Primus, 
McReynolds as Coke, and Lane as Demosthenes. 

It is one of the strangest facts in the life of Wilson, 
distrustful and suspicious though he was by nature, that he had 
not yet fathomed House's true character. He was, apparently, 
wholly unconscious of the fact that, though the constitutional 
chief executive of the American people, he was delegating his 
judgment, if not his authority, at least in part to another. He 
seems to have been as guileless as the world at large in 
accepting House at his own valuation. 

"People ask what I get out of it. My answer is that the only 
work that is worth while, the only work that brings satisfaction, 
is the work that is unselfish. I say this without desiring to be 
ostentatious. Examine yourself, and you will find it to be true. 
Consider men like General Goethals or Charles W. Eliot. 
Imagine the wonderful pleasure, the heartwarming satisfaction, 
Goethals gained from building the Panama Canal on his meager 
salary of an engineer of the regular army. Or the satisfaction Dr. 
Eliot must have derived during the years he devoted to Harvard 
University. Take a man like Harriman. I have always thought 
that he was not guided solely by personal ambition in his career. 
Underneath all his achievements was the desire to do things, 
and his gratification in accomplishment would have been much 
greater if he had not had to acquire a fortune along with it. 

"Some people who do not care for pecuniary rewards, on 
the other hand, do like the purely honorary badges of success. I 
happen not to care for the badges, either. Honors are all very 
well in their way, but I get more pleasure out of something I 
have done without reward, other than the appreciation of my 
friends, than I could from all the money and decorations in this 
country and Europe. " This was the President's own summary of 
his attitude toward life, and toward public office. 

In view of Wilson's notorious dislike of advice, his relations 
with House are almost inexplicable. Wilson's willingness to 
delegate so much of his responsibilities as President to this 
strange little man with "feline eyes, low voice, 


and big ears" as described by McCombs, appears fantastic. At 
times House's control would seem almost hypnotic but for the 
fact that he did, after all, serve Wilson as liaison man with 
Carnegie, Root, Choate, Butler, Taft, Marburg, Baruch, 
Morgenthau, Elkus, and the Internationalists generally. 

Taft's going to Yale University as head of the Law School, 
gave him fuller opportunity to carry on the Internationalist 
propaganda by ceaseless writing and lecturing. His relations 
with House remained intimate and cordial. 



Wilson Develops His Foreign Policy. Mexico and Japan. 
"Delenda est Huerta." Europe Recognizes Huerta. Wilson 
Indicates His Intention of Securing a Repeal of the Panama 
Tolls Exemption Act. Much Alarmed about Japan. Scott 
Counsels Him Against Philippine Independence and Bryan's 
Plan to Turn the Islands Over to Japan. The Ambassadorial 
Staff Completed. Speyer, Bernstorff and House Confer. The 
Lind Mission and Open Interference in Mexican Affairs. 

WHAT A WORLD — that of 1913! The Mexican and 
Japanese situations were becoming more and more 
complicated, American organized labor, under the 
skillful guidance of Gompers, and the encouragement of the 
"Great Commoner," demanding more and more. The conditions 
called for unremitting attention from Wilson. His attitude of 
mind at this time is a matter of extreme political importance to 
the historian. 

Prospectors often find a lode of valuable metal by a tiny 
divining rod. So too, little things often indicate important 
human characteristics. The Princeton class of 1879 was a 
particularly united one. Although Wilson had not been a leader 
at college, his classmates were naturally proud of "Tommy's" 
success, and so an early invitation from him to hold one of their 
periodic reunions in the White House, was accepted with 

The President himself sent out the invitations. When the men 
assembled in the Blue Room, several of the more prominent 
members of the class, who differed politically with the 
President, were conspicuous by their absence. Investigation 
showed that Wilson himself had purposely omitted sending 
them invitations. Thereupon, at the close 


of the evening, a committee of the class waited on him. 

"We would not have accepted your hospitality, Tommy," 
they said, "had we known that you were to make a political 
matter of a class reunion. We are your friends, not your pupils, 
and have a right to our own ideas." 

It seemed inexplicable to Wilson that the incident should 
cost him so many well-wishers. More than one of his 
classmates said this was because of his pedagogic habit of 
mind. Be that as it may, the class of 79 was henceforth, like the 
alumni of Princeton, hopelessly divided, in its attitude toward 
him. It was a pity that such things should exert a powerful 
influence upon the career of a man whose advent upon the stage 
of national politics had been attended by an opportunity the like 
of which few men had known. Is it not the little currents of 
influence which make up the resultant stream, whose force in 
retrospect is so often called Fate? 

It was all too true that, under the terrific strain to which 
Wilson was now subjected, after previous years of ceaseless 
controversy, he began to show signs of "wear and tear." 
Becoming more and more dictatorial, he professed dislike for 
diplomats and lawyers, and with Congress had little patience, 
particularly with what he deemed the pretensions of the Senate 
with respect to foreign affairs. Opposition seemed to be deemed 
by him evidence of personal enmity. His prejudices were so 
plainly manifested, his dislike of certain Senators and other 
public men so openly expressed, that even House was 
alarmed. 103 

But what man could have preserved a complete equanimity 
in the position which he had assumed? Were not the 
undertakings to which he had lent himself too great a burden 
for the shoulders of a single mortal? He was always in danger 
of having his purpose detected by some of the millions of eyes 
focused upon his every act, before he had achieved his end. He 
had, at times, to hoodwink even Tumulty, his confidential 
secretary, against whom he had been warned over and over, 
privately and even in the press. The necessity for equivocations 
was becoming ever more frequent. Nevertheless, the Domestic 
program to which he 


gave open endorsement, was as brilliant in its popular appeal as 
that which he had successfully executed in New Jersey. Verily, 
he was an amazing man — this man whom none of his more 
intimate associates understood, who estranged most of them one 
by one, yet who held the complete confidence of millions of 
strangers. In the whole range of history, perhaps no other 
character so complex, so intransigent, so controversial, so 
provocative of conjecture is to be found. As to the source and 
the objects of his foreign policy, and its development from day 
to day, however, there need be no surmise. Of these matters, the 
"Silent Partner" retained direct control. 

The Mexican revolution, intimately involved with the 
Japanese problem, claimed his earliest attention. Car-ranza — 
leader of the revolt against Huerta — was a man of some 
education, whereas his generals were mainly illiterate. It had 
been agreed among them that Carranza should be called the 
First Chief of the Revolution for the Restoration of the 
Constitution of 1857, until victory could be assured. 
Afterwards, the victorious generals were to elect a provisional 
president who was to call a general election in a constitutional 

Meantime, finding Coahuila too hot for his liking, Carranza 
had fled across Mexico to Hermosillo on the Pacific Coast. 
There, occupying himself in dancing and dining, and far out of 
harm's way, he passed his time pleasantly, waiting for the near- 
banditry of the "Constitutionalists" to place him in power. 

The two facts that stood out above all others, were that 
Mexico, in her existing condition of popular ignorance, could 
not govern herself; and that the twentieth century could not 
accept, indefinitely, a condition of disorder and bloodshed that 
had apparently satisfied the nineteenth. Such a condition was a 
certain encouragement to radicalism. The basic difficulty in this 
American republic was one of racial and national character. Yet 
it was constantly being overlooked that Mexico was in reality, 
only a great, shambling Indian Republic. Of its 15,000,000 
people, less than 3,000,000 were of unmixed white blood, about 


per cent were pure Indian, and the rest represented varying 
mixtures of white and aboriginal stock. 193 The masses had 
advanced little in civilization since the days of Cortez. Eighty 
per cent were illiterate; their lives were, for the most part, a dull 
and squalid routine; protection against disease was unknown; 
the agricultural methods were most primitive; the larger number 
still spoke the native dialects which had been used in the days 
of Montezuma; and over great stretches of country, the old 
tribal regime still represented the only form of political 

The one encouraging feature was that these Mexican 
Indians, backward as they might be, were far superior to the 
other native tribes of the North American Continent, since they 
had developed, even in ancient times, a state of society far 
superior to that of the traditional Redskin. It was, nevertheless, 
true that the progress of Mexico in the preceding fifty years had 
been due almost entirely to foreign enterprise. By 1913, about 
75,000 Americans were living in Mexico as miners, engineers, 
merchants, and agriculturists; American investments amounted 
to about $1,200,000,000 — a larger sum than that of all the other 
foreigners combined. Though the work of European countries, 
particularly Great Britain, had been important, yet Mexico was 
practically an economic colony of the United States. Most 
observers agreed that these foreign activities had not only 
profited the foreigners, but that they had greatly benefited the 
Mexicans themselves. Foreign enterprise had disclosed 
enormous riches, had given hundreds of thousands employment 
at very high wages, had built up new Mexican towns on modern 
American lines, had extended the American railway system 
over a large part of the land, and had developed street railways, 
electric lighting, and other modern necessities in all sections of 
the Republic. The opening of the Mexican oil resources had 
been, perhaps, the most typical of these achievements — 
certainly the most adventurous. Americans had created this, 
perhaps the greatest of Mexican industries, and they owned, in 
1913, nearly 80 per cent of Mexican oil. Their success had 
persuaded several Englishmen, the best known 


of whom was Lord Cowdray, to enter this same field. 

In 1913, however, American and British oil operators were 
objects of general suspicion on both continents. They were 
accused of participating too actively in Mexican politics, and 
were even held responsible for the revolutionary condition of 
the country. One picturesque legend insisted that the American 
oil interests looked with jealous hostility upon the great favors 
shown by the Diaz administration to Lord Cowdray 's company, 
and that they had instigated the Madero revolution in order to 
put in power politicians more friendly to themselves. The 
inevitable complement to this interpretation of events, was a 
prevailing suspicion that the Cowdray interests had promoted 
the Huerta revolt, in order that Lombard Street might turn the 
tables on "Standard Oil" and Wall Street, retain the 
"concessions" already obtained from Diaz, and obtain still more 
from the new Mexican dictator. Wilson and Bryan had been 
inclined, from the first, to take this view, deeming Huerta 
nothing more than the representative of interests bent, with the 
Japanese, on exploiting the situation by involving the United 
States in war. Bryan was, therefore, bitterly opposed to 
Marburg's theory of the "Backward Nation." Moreover, it 
seemed directly opposed to Pan-Americanism and the 
Internationalist purpose, to utilize Latin America to balk Japan. 
Wilson therefore stubbornly refused to adopt Marburg's 
proposals, and determined to force Huerta out of office in the 
way favored by Bryan. On March 11th, he read to the Cabinet a 
paper in which he had outlined his Mexican policy. 

"This interested me particularly," says Houston, "because it 
clearly indicated the President was going to be his own 
Secretary of State." 

Wilson declared that while the agitators in "certain 
countries" wanted revolution, and were inclined to "try it on 
with the new Administration," he was not going to let them 
have their way. The American Charge" d'Affaires in London 
was instructed to ask the British Foreign Office its attitude 
toward the recognition of President Huerta. To Sir Edward 
Grey, Laughlin stated that, although the 


United States had decided on no policy, Wilson felt sure it 
would be to the advantage of both countries to follow the same 
line. The answer was that the British Government would not 
recognize Huerta, either tacitly or formally. 

The moment had now come for Wilson to make such an 
appeal to Latin America as would insure him time to deal with 
Huerta. During the administration of Washington, the President 
had made it a practice to appear in person before Congress to 
deliver his messages. This custom had been abandoned by 
Jefferson, as an undemocratic attempt to assert his personal 
influence. Wilson now revived it. With the assurance of the 
British Government that Huerta was not to be recognized, and 
without prior consultation with his Cabinet, he appeared before 
Congress in person on March 12, 1913, and said: 

"One of the chief objects of my administration will be to 
cultivate the friendship and deserve the confidence of our sister 
republics of Central and South America, and to promote in 
every proper and honorable way, the interests which are com- 
mon to the peoples of the two continents. I earnestly desire the 
most cordial understanding and cooperation between the peo- 
ples and leaders of America, and, therefore, deem it my duty to 
make this brief statement: 

"Cooperation is possible only when supported at every turn 
by the orderly processes of just government based upon law, 
not upon arbitrary or irregular forces. We hold, as I am sure all 
thoughtful leaders of republican governments everywhere hold, 
that just government rests always upon the consent of the gov- 
erned, and that there can be no freedom without order based 
upon law, and upon the public conscience and approval. We 
shall look to make these principles the basis of mutual inter- 
course, respect, and helpfulness between our sister republics 
and ourselves . . . We can have no sympathy with those who 
seek to seize the power of government to advance their own 
personal interest or ambition." 215 

The day this message was delivered, Scott was promoted to 
the rank of brigadier general, and assigned by Wood to a 
command on the Mexican border, to enforce Wilson's 


policy there. This was deemed unwarranted favoritism by the 
army. A soldier of the old school, loyal to Wood whom he 
feared he was to replace, Scott was much alarmed when 
Garrison told him the President wished to consult him. Making 
his excuses, he dashed off to the border. 191 

It did not take Bryan long to discover that the Japanese were 
not interested in a treaty of arbitration that would exclude them 
from Mexico. Were they demanding that Britain, their great 
ally, recognize Huerta? At any rate, early in April, Wilson 
learned that this was about to be done. Instantly, therefore, he 
called for information as to why the British Government had 
changed its mind. To this enquiry, the British Ambassador in 
Washington replied, merely, that Huerta was in fact to be 
recognized, and this was soon done unconditionally. Thereupon 
Germany, Spain, and most of the European countries followed 
England's lead. 

Wilson and Bryan were greatly alarmed. What did this 
sudden action mean? Were the Internationalists determined to 
enforce the adoption of Marburg's policy? 

It was known that the British Navy had a contract with Lord 
Cowdray's Company for oil, which was rapidly becoming 
indispensable as a fuel for warships. Notwithstanding the fact 
that Britain was, therefore, almost necessarily a champion of 
the Cowdray interests, Wilson, Bryan, and the Cabinet 
generally, were confirmed in the view that not only Japan but 
"interests" similar to those in this country which were 
demanding intervention, were behind the ac-tion of the British 
Government, and that it had given way to the "Standard Oil" of 
Lombard Street. The dislike of Wilson and Bryan for Huerta, 
now became almost an obsession on their part, while Bryan's 
hate of everything British increased. Henceforth their motto 
was "delenda est Huerta" ! 

On April 15th, the perplexing question of the Panama 
Canal Tolls was first brought by Wilson before the Cabinet. He 
declared that Lord Bryce had urged him to make a statement 
favoring a repeal of the Panama Tolls Exemption Act, or, if the 
law could not be repealed, submit 


the question to arbitration as Roosevelt had suggested in the 
Outlook the preceding January. He himself, however, did not 
favor arbitration, but declared, to the utter amazement of the 
Cabinet, that he was, after giving much thought to the matter, 
"inclined" to be against the existing exemption on "both 
economic and moral grounds." 106 

Bryan at once defended the act vigorously, just as he had 
done in the campaign. He feared that the railroad interests 
wanted tolls charged to secure more traffic, or increase their 
rates. This, of course, is conclusive that he had not yet been 
taken completely into the confidence of Wilson and House. 

Soon after this, Wilson brought the Japanese question before 
the Cabinet for its first airing. Japan was in an ugly mood, and 
had demanded, in a written protest read to the Cabinet by 
Wilson, that the California exclusion law be declared void at 
once. It was characterized as obnoxious, discriminating, unfair, 
unfriendly, and violative of a treaty obligation. 

"The offensive character of the protest," says Houston, "was 
something of a shock, especially in view of what the 
Government had done and was doing, and of Japan's own laws 
against aliens." This indicates that Houston knew that Wilson 
was already working to stave off Japan from war. 

"There was much doubt as to Japan's real purpose and 
meaning," he continued. "Some thought that the protest was for 
home consumption; others that Japan wanted trouble before the 
Panama Canal was opened. It was asserted that Japan was in too 
great financial straits to enter into a fight with the United States. 
I expressed the view that poverty constituted no reason against 
her fighting if she wanted to fight — that history furnished many 
instances of nations waging war when they seemed to be down 
and out financially, and waging it successfully. I added that I 
credited Japan with some sense, and therefore did not believe 
that she seriously intended to go to the limit. As to the fear 
expressed that Japan could take the Philippines and land an 
army in California, I said, jokingly, that I 


would almost be willing to whip her to make her take the 
Philippines, and that I would eat every Jap who landed in 
California as part of an invading force." 10 

Nor was Bryan in the least worried. Despite the writings of 
Homer Lea and the warnings of the military men, "the Yellow 
Perilists" were deemed by him mere alarmists. Although Japan 
had shown no interest in his treaties, he thought the matter 
could be settled by referring it to a state referendum, after an 
appeal to the Californians to amend their law in a way that 
would be agreeable to the Japanese ! 

This was deemed impractical by the Cabinet, because of the 
known sentiments of the Californians, and the intemperate 
discussion which might ensue. Bryan was, therefore, directed 
by Wilson to confer with the Japanese Ambassador, and "try to 
discover exactly what was in his mind." 

Wilson then pointed out that the law itself, by very precise 
statement, was based on the theory of necessarily conforming to 
the Treaty, and purported to conform to it; that, in any event, if 
it did not conform to it, it was invalid. This was a matter for the 
courts, and the Japanese had the same rights before them that 
Americans had. He thought they could ask no more. Apparently 
Bryan accomplished nothing except to convince the Japanese 
that Wilson was alarmed. 

"Again," says Houston, "the possible course of Japan was 
considered by the Cabinet. The President stated that he had not 
seriously entertained the thought of such a criminal possibility 
as war till Thursday, the 15th, when he noticed the extreme 
perturbation of the Japanese Ambassador. It was possible that 
this was due to his fear of what might happen to his home 
government. Garrison stated that he had canvassed the matter of 
defending the Philippines, and that the War Council, while 
believing war a remote possibility, thought we ought to be 
prepared; and that Manila could be defended for a year, if some 
ships then in Chinese waters were sent to Manila. These could 
prevent the Japanese from crossing the neck of land. 


"Garrison intimated that our views on military matters were 
not particularly valuable — that his Board of Army and Navy 
Officers were the people who were competent to pass on such 
things. At this, Bryan flared up for the first time. He got red in 
the face and was very emphatic. He thundered out that army and 
navy officers could not be trusted to say what we should or 
should not do, till we actually got into war; that we were 
discussing not how to wage war, but how not to get into war, 
and that, if ships were moved about in the East, it would incite 
to war. Several members said that they could not see why we 
could not move our own ships from where they were to our own 
ports. My view was that we could, but that the real question was 
whether the ships could get to Manila, and could be of any real 
use if they did. 

"The President said that he would direct the ships to stay 
where they were, and would do so, knowing full well that there 
would be bitter criticism if war should come, and he had not 
done everything possible to prepare for it. 

"At a garden party at the White House a day or so later, 
Bryan thanked me for not getting excited at the Cabinet 
meeting. He added: 'There will be no war. I have seen the 
Japanese Ambassador, and I am letting the old man down 
easy.'" 106 

What had happened, seems only too plain. Bryan had long 
been advocating granting the Filipinos their independence, in 
order to avoid the danger of war with Japan. This he was now 
urging upon Wilson, no doubt with the knowledge of the 
Japanese Ambassador, who probably advised that Bryan be 
allowed to accomplish his purpose. 

At this time, Obregon and Villa were engaged in desperate 
fighting along the border. American lives were being lost. Scott 
therefore held a conference on the international bridge at El 
Paso with Villa, to whom he explained what would be the 
certain consequences, if the present situation continued. From 
what Villa told him, he seems to have gained the impression 
that Huerta was in the pay of Japan. Upon arriving in 
Washington to render a confidential report to Wood, he was 
summoned by the President, 


who wanted to know what he thought of Bryan's proposal. 

"Do you believe, Mr. President," Scott replied, "that the 
religious people of America would consent to the turning over 
of five million Roman Catholic Christians to a non-Christian 
power?" Wilson shook his head, saying: "No, I do not. I do 

After pondering a while, Wilson asked Scott what he would 

"Just what you are doing now," was the reply. "Educate 
them until they are able to walk on their own feet, then give 
them their independence ..." 106 

This was sound advice which gave Wilson pause, and 
apparently caused him to overrule Bryan. The Japanese 
question must be solved in some fashion compatible with the 
Nation's sense of honor. 

Realizing that nothing was to be expected from Huerta, the 
Internationalists now concluded that, since Wilson would not 
protect foreign rights in Mexico, the only way to prevent a 
violation of the Monroe Doctrine was to force him to apply to 
Mexico the principle of the "Backward Nation." Therefore, on 
April 23rd, James Speyer, the great German-American banker 
and economist, and an ardent Internationalist as well, brought 
House and Bern-storff together. The three conferred at length 
on May 9th. They all felt that the United States, Britain, 
Germany and Japan might together insure peace in Mexico by 
adopting the plan of Marburg, which had been successfully 
pursued by the Powers in China, and by the United States in 
Cuba. At House's suggestion, however, the others agreed that 
Wilson should have a full opportunity to solve the Mexican 
problem by Bryan's pet scheme of mediation. With the German 
Government fully advised of Wilson's purpose, John Lind was 
immediately despatched to Mexico City by Bryan to make what 
appeared, on its face, to be an offer of mediation by the United 
States between the contending factions. A "general and free" 
election was suggested. The president chosen was to be 
recognized by the United States. But Huerta was not to be a 

Notwithstanding Wilson's declarations to the contrary, 


his proposal constituted an open interference in Mexican affairs 
and was indignantly rejected. Consolidating the Mexicans in 
opposition, Wilson had placed American nationals in a more 
precarious predicament. Wholesale confiscations of their 
property, with imminent peril to their lives, commenced at once. 
The inflamed Huertatistas looked the while with increasing 
favor upon the proposals of Japan. 

Page now urged that no time be lost in reestablishing an 
accord with the British. The Internationalists had already 
arranged for a celebration in 1914 as the basis of a renewed 
Anglo-American friendship, during which a statue of 
Washington was to be unveiled in London. The Panama Act 
had made the whole thing a travesty. Page looked upon this act, 
therefore, as not only dishonorable, but fatal to the Anglo- 
American Union which was his great ideal. To insure this, his 
idea was to repeal the Panama Act at once, and to have Wilson 
attend the celebration in England. Thoroughly indoctrinated 
with Marburg's theory of the "Backward Nation," he was, 
moreover, opposed to Bryan's Mexican policy as illusory. 
Recalling their talk in 1910, Wilson wanted to appoint Page to 
the Court of St. James, but House objected, because of Page's 
uncompromising Nationalism. Was he not too pro-British to 
please Bryan and the Anglophobes? Therefore, at House's 
instance, the post was offered first to Richard Olney — 
Cleveland's Secretary of State — and, upon his refusal, to 
Charles W. Eliot, President of Harvard, and a great 
Internationalist. When Eliot, too, declined it, Wilson decided, 
notwithstanding House's objections, to appoint Page, who 
accepted. Summoned to Washington at once for a long 
conference with Wilson in which he must have reiterated his 
views, he indulged in a careful study of the State Department 
files relating to the Mexican, Japanese, and Panama Tolls ques- 
tions, which utterly disgusted him. Thereafter, he received 
instructions from Wilson, kept secret from the Secretary of 
State, to proceed to his post with the utmost despatch. He was 
to spare no effort to prevent a war with Japan, 


and further action by Great Britain with respect to Mexico. 99 ' 103 
With full regard to the preconceived plan, the ambassadorial 
staff was soon completed by Wilson and House. Unwilling to 
carry out Taft's pro-Jewish policy, Curtis Guild had lately 
returned from Russia, and tendered his resignation.* Though the 
outbreak of the Second Balkan War had greatly complicated the 
Russian situation, it was decided to leave the Russian post 
vacant. The Russian Government was to be induced, by a 
course of diplomatic aloofness, to meet the demands of the 
Jews! Such a policy was not well calculated to help the Czar in 
his struggle against the Mensheviks and Anarchists, or to draw 
the United States and Russia together, for it could not fail to 
give great encouragement to the radicals. 

William C. Guthrie, a great corporation lawyer, was sent to 
Japan; James G. Gerard, a Tammany leader, to Germany; 
Josiah Quincy's friend, Frederick C. Penfield, to Austria- 
Hungary; Thomas Nelson Page, of Virginia, to Italy; Joseph E. 
Willard, another Virginia capitalist, to Spain; Gary, of Texas, a 
friend of House, to Switzerland; Henry Morgenthau to Turkey; 
and Ira Nelson Morris of Chicago, the great Jewish beefpacker, 
to Norway. Marburg was, of course, allowed to remain at his 
post in Belguim, while Myron T. Herrick, a man of great wealth 
and the popular Republican incumbent, was urged to remain in 
Paris pending McCombs' final decision. 156 ' 215 With capital thus 
strongly represented, two prominent Jews assigned to important 
foreign posts, and with Tumulty, a Knight of Columbus, as his 
private secretary, Wilson felt that he had met Bryan's demand 
that Jewish and Catholic interests be given full representation in 
the Administration, while at the same time satisfying Wall 
Street and the Internationalists. He was now ready to embark on 
his foreign policies. 

* Effective June 24, 1913. 



House's First Super-Ambassadorial Mission. Secretly 
Confers with Sir Edward Grey. Discusses the Repeal of the 
Panama Tolls Exemption Act and the Formation of a League 
of Nations. Seeks the Aid of the British Government to 
Prevent War with Japan. Wilson Urges United States 
Nationals to Leave Mexico. Fearful of Japan, He Notifies 
Congress of His Intention to Mobilize the Armed Forces on 
the Border. Page Urges an Anglo-American Alliance. 
Bryan Threatens to Resign. 

WHEN PAGE reached London, he found the Anglo- 
American situation much more involved than he had 
expected. A Japanese-American war would touch off 
the world-wide explosion, against which the venerable Lord 
Roberts had long warned the world. 79 ' 120 Fortunately for the 
historians, this life-long friend and confidant of Wilson's, now 
his foremost Ambassador, recorded his views, on reaching his 

"Was there ever greater need than there is now, of a first- 
class mind unselfishly working on world problems? The ablest 
ruling minds are engaged on domestic tasks. There is no world- 
girdling intelligence at work in government. On the continent of 
Europe, the Kaiser is probably the foremost man. Yet he cannot 
think far beyond the provincial views of the Germans. In 
England, Sir Edward Grey is the largest-visioned statesman. All 
the Europeans are spending their thought and money in 
watching and checkmating one another, and in maintaining 
their armed and balanced status quo. 

"A way must be found out of this stagnant watching. Else a 
way will have to be fought out of it; and a great European war 
would set the Old World, perhaps the whole world, back a long 
way: and thereafter, the present armed watching would recur; 
we should have gained nothing. It seems impossible to 


talk the Great Powers out of their fear of one another or to 
'Hague' them out of it. They'll never be persuaded to disarm. 
The only way left seems to be to find some common and useful 
work for these great armies to do. Then, perhaps, they'll work 
themselves out of their jealous position. Isn't this sound 

"To produce a new situation, the vast energy that now 
spends itself in maintaining armies and navies, must find a new 
outlet. Something new must be found for them to do, some 
great unselfish task that they can do together. 

"Nobody can lead in such a new era but the United States. 

"May there not come such a chance in Mexico — to clean out 
bandits, yellow fever, malaria, hookworm — all to make the 
country healthful, safe for life and investment, and for orderly 
self-government at last? What we did in Cuba, might thus be 
made the beginning of a new epoch in history — conquest for the 
sole benefit of the conquered, worked out by a sanitary 
reformation. The new sanitation will reclaim all tropical lands; 
but the work must first be done by military power — probably 
from the outside. 

"May not the existing military power of Europe conceivably 
be diverted, gradually, to this use? One step at a time, as 
political and financial occasions arise? As presently in 

"This present order must change. It holds the Old World 
still. It keeps all parts of the world apart, in spite of the friendly 
cohesive forces of trade and travel. It keeps back self- 
government and the progress of man. 

"And the tropics cry out for sanitation, which is at first an 
essentially military task. " " 

From this memorandum it is obvious that, although Page 
believed in the Internationalist principle of the "Backward 
Nation," he was still in no sense an Internationalist. 

Nevertheless it was Page's duty, as Wilson's personal 
representative, to urge upon the British a policy of non- 
interference in Mexican affairs. Therefore he told Grey that, if 
Wilson were only given time to try out Bryan's theory of 
mediation, he would probably intervene forcibly in the end. 
Meantime Britain must help him maintain the Monroe Doctrine. 
With a European conflict staring Britain in the face, might she 
not soon need America s friendship? Therefore she must, in her 
own interest, pre- 


vent Japan from assailing America, as well as forestall inter- 
ference from any quarter in Mexican affairs. What would 
Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Canada say, if the 
British Government stood neutral as between a yellow race and 

This was fine and friendly diplomacy, but while Grey 
listened with interest, he was unwilling to commit himself to 
anything. 92 " Plainly he was in a trading mood. Page saw at once 
that the repeal of the Panama Act was a prerequisite to the 
reestablishment of amicable Anglo-American relations. 
Meanwhile, with Garrison's consent, Wood had organized two 
military training camps for young men — the first of their kind — 
as agencies to inform the country of its danger, and of its 
needs. 83 When informed by Page of Grey's attitude, Wilson 
decided to play his trump card, by sending House to London to 
offer the repeal of the Act as the price of British cooperation. 

The Super-Ambassador arrived in London June 29th, 1913. 
Page at once wrote Grey as follows: 

"To Sir Edward Grey 

"Coburg Hotel, London 
" (no date) "DEAR 
Sir Edward: — 

"There is an American gentleman in London, the like of 
whom I do not know. Mr. Edward M. House is his name. He is 
'the silent partner' of President Wilson — that is to say, he is the 
most trusted political adviser, and the nearest friend of the 
President. He is a private citizen, a man without personal 
political ambition, a modest, quiet, even shy fellow. He helps to 
make Cabinets, to shape policies, to select judges and ambas- 
sadors and suchlike, merely for the pleasure of seeing that these 
tasks are well done. 

"He is suffering from over-indulgence in advising, and he 
has come here to rest. I cannot get him far outside his hotel, for 
he cares to see few people. But he is very eager to meet you. 

"I wonder if you would do me the honor to take luncheon at 
the Coburg Hotel with me, to meet him either on July 1, or 3, 
or 5 — if you happen to be free? I shall have only you and Mr. 

"Very sincerely yours, 

"Walter H.Page." 


"The chief reason why Colonel House wished to meet the 
British Foreign Secretary," says Hendrick, Page's biographer, 
"was to bring him a message from President Wilson on the 
subject of the Panama tolls. The three men — Sir Edward, 
Colonel House, and Mr. Page — met at the suggested luncheon 
on July 3rd. Colonel House informed the Foreign Secretary that 
President Wilson was now convinced that the Panama Act 
violated the Hay-Pauncefote Treaty, and that he intended to use 
all his influence to secure its repeal. The matter, the American 
urged, was a difficult one, since it would be necessary to 
persuade Congress to pass a law acknowledging its mistake. 
The best way in which Great Britain could aid in the process 
was by taking no public action. If the British should keep 
protesting or discussing the subject acrimoniously in the press 
and Parliament, such a course would merely reenforce the ele- 
ments that would certainly oppose the President. Any protests 
would give them the opportunity to set up the cry of 'British 
dictation,' and a change in the Washington policy would subject 
it to the criticism of having yielded to British pressure. The 
inevitable effect would be to defeat the whole proceeding. 
House therefore suggested that President Wilson be left to 
handle the matter in his own way and in his own time, and he 
assured the British statesman that the result would be 
satisfactory to both countries." 99 

House also discussed the matter of a league of nations with 
Grey. 103 Wilson might render Britain a very great service, 
should Germany assail the Triple Entente. The upshot was that 
Sir Edward Grey expressed his willingness to leave the Panama 
matter to Wilson, so far as was in his power. "Thus," says 
Page's biographer, "from July 3, 1913. there was a complete 
understanding between the British Government and the 
Washington Administration on the question of the tolls. But 
neither the British nor the American public knew that President 
Wilson had pledged himself to a policy of repeal." 99 

As to Mexico, Page, Marburg, House, and Grey were in 
complete accord. Inasmuch as neither Page nor House could 
gain Grey's approval of Bryan's policy, it is not unlikely that 


Wilson and the Internationalists now wanted to have Grey bring 
such pressure to bear upon the United States, that Bryan would 
not be able to oppose a change of policy by Wilson. At any rate, 
before House reached Washington, Sir Lionel Carden, 
notoriously hostile to Bryan's Mexican policy, was appointed 
British Minister to Mexico. While on his way to his new post, 
he declared, in an interview to the American press, that 
immediate intervention was the solution of the Mexican 
problem. Certainly he did not do this without Grey's consent. 

Believing that an invasion was impending, the Mexicans 
were greatly agitated, so that additional protection was de- 
manded by the border states. If they could not get it from the 
Federal Government, they proposed to take matters in their own 
hands! Unable to resist this demand, Wilson again appeared in 
person before Congress on August 13th, and gave notice of his 
intention to exercise the authority, previously conferred on Taft, 
to order additional troops to the border. Thereupon a regular 
division and a large force of militia were mobilized along the 
Rio Grande under General Funston. Showing that all this had 
Grey's approval, Page wrote House on August 25th, advising 
immediate intervention. At the same time he urged again that 
Wilson come to England to reestablish amicable Anglo- 
American relations, and negotiate in person a defensive alliance 
with Great Britain. This was the way, he repeated, to insure 
against the danger of Japan and to establish the peace of the 
world — not by "mixing up" with the continental powers. 

Of Wilson's purpose Japan, the Mexicans, Latin-America, 
and Bryan were all now sure. "Is this the meaning of Pan- 
Americanism?" enquired the A.B.C. powers of Bryan. Fresh 
reports of the most alarming nature reached Washington and 
London from Japan. The united Mexicans were prepared for 
firm resistance. On the very eve of the dedication of Carnegie's 
peace palace at the Hague, the "Apostle of Peace" was prepared 
to resign, and to oppose intervention. What was Wilson to do? 
He had accepted the counsel of both Page and the 
Internationalists, and it had brought him to the brink of war! 


In this dilemma, the Internationalists themselves realized 
that Wilson must extricate himself in some fashion, or enter 
upon a war that would certainly not improve the lot of 
American Nationals in Mexico. They were, on the contrary, apt 
to be massacred at the first American shot fired, so that there 
was little choice, as a practical proposition, between leaving 
them to escape as best they could, or risking the certain 
estrangement of the Latin Americans, accompanied by Japanese 
aggression. Therefore, on August 27th, just a fortnight after the 
order for the mobilization of the army, Wilson again appeared 
before the Senate. 

Pointing out that he had volunteered his good offices 
through Lind in vain, he gave it as his opinion that there was 
little prospect of peace in Mexico. While Huerta's Government 
was growing weaker, he believed his offer of mediation had 
been rejected, because the authorities did not realize the spirit of 
friendship which prompted the American people, and their 
"sober determination." Possibly it was because she did not 
believe the Administration represented the people of the United 
States, that Mexico was isolated, and without friends who could 
aid her. He then went on to say: "We must give the situation a 
little more time to work itself out. . . . Everything done must be 
rooted in patience. Impatience on our part would be childish, 
and would be fraught with every risk of wrong and folly. We 
can afford to exercise the self-restraint of a really great nation, 
which realizes its own strength and scorns to use it. It was our 
duty to offer our active assistance." 

The American door was not to be closed against further 
cooperative action, should opportunity offer. While he would 
omit nothing to "safeguard the lives and interests of Americans 
in Mexico," he would urge them to leave the country, "not 
because we would mean to slacken in the least our effort to 
safeguard their lives, but because it is imperative that they 
should take no unnecessary risks, when it is physically possible 
for them to leave the country." He would act under the law of 
March 14th, 1912, to see that neither party received aid from 
the United States. He 


would forbid the exportation of arms or munitions to any part 
of Mexico. 

Several of the great governments of the world, declared 
Wilson, had given the United States their support in urg-ing 
upon the provisional authorities the acceptance of its good 
offices. "All the world expects us in such circumstances to act 
as Mexico's nearest friend and intimate adviser. ... If further 
motive were necessary than our own good-will toward a sister 
republic, and our own deep concern to see peace and order 
prevail in Central America, this consent of mankind to what we 
are attempting to do, this attitude of the great nations of the 
world toward what we may attempt in dealing with this 
distressed people at our doors, should make us feel more 
solemnly bound to go to the utmost length of patience and 
forbearance in this painful and anxious business. The steady 
pressure of moral forces will before many days break the 
barriers of pride and prejudice down, and we shall triumph as 
Mexico's friends sooner than we could triumph as her 
enemies — and how much more handsomely, with much higher 
and finer satisfactions of conscience and honour!" 

Thus did he succeed in satisfying Bryan, Latin-America, 
Japan, and the Internationalists, by withdrawing the country 
from the critical position in which his late message had placed 
it. The Americans in Mexico who had asked for the protection 
of their lives and property, were now to find it only by leaving 
Mexico if possible, and abandoning whatever they owned there. 
This did not, of course, satisfy them. When the militia 
discovered it was merely to be used as a border patrol to replace 
Federal troops, it raised a great upcry. 191 

The day after this seemingly extraordinary pronouncement 
for which Wilson was most unjustly censured, there occurred 
one of the greatest events in the history of the world peace 
movement. On August 28, 1913, the Peace Palace at the Hague 
was dedicated, with imposing ceremonies attended by the 
Queen of Holland, Carnegie, Marburg, 

Oscar Straus, and a host of others. To the adornment 
of the glorious edifice many nations had contributed, the 


gift of the United States being a statuary group representing 
"Peace Through Justice." On the following day, a bust of King 
Edward presented by the Peace Society of London, and a bust 
of Sir William Randal Cremer presented by the International 
Arbitration League which he had founded, were unveiled. In an 
address on Cremer, Carnegie said: "I submit that the only 
measure required today for the maintenance of world peace, is 
an agreement between three or four of the leading civilized 
Powers (and as many more as desire to join — the more the 
better) pledged to cooperate against disturbers of world peace, 
should such arise, which would scarcely be possible, however, 
in face of the partnership agreement suggested. " 19 

The speaker had in mind, necessarily, not only Japan and 
Germany but Mexico. He was plainly advocating Marburg's 
policy of the "Backward Nation." 

What if Bryan had seen the letter of August 28, 1913, from 
Page to Wilson? "If the United States will only repeal the Canal 
toll discrimination, we can command the British fleet, British 
manufactures, anything we please." Till this was done, nothing 
need be expected of the British Government. It did not know 
what to think of Wilson; it did not trust him." 

In reply to Page, both Wilson and House declared that, 
while they agreed with all he had written about the President 
visiting England at once, the repeal of the Panama Tolls 
Exemption Act, and an Anglo-American alliance, the public 
suggestion of such things was politically inexpedient in the face 
of American anti-British sentiment. 105 

Almost coincident with the dedication of the Peace Palace, 
Eliot began to urge stronger methods than arbitration. He, too, 
was in favor of enforcing peace in one way and another.* But 
apparently he made no more impression upon Wilson and 
House than Page. Determined to press their own scheme, 
House, unknown to Bryan, opened negotiations on September 
1st, with Dumba, the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador, to 
determine if the Dual Mon- 

* Some Roads to Peace, Charles W. Eliot, Annual Report to 
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (1913). 


archy, Germany's greatest ally, would abandon the Central 
Alliance for such a league of nations as that suggested two days 
before by Carnegie at the Hague. 103 House and Wilson were not 
dealing frankly with either Bryan or Page, while seeking by 
round-about methods to detach Britain from Japan, and Franz- 
Joseph from the Kaiser; and to compel the Czar to institute 
those democratic reforms in Russia demanded by the American 
Jews, and the Internationalists generally. 

Both the Kaiser and the Czar's Government now perceived 
Wilson's real purpose. 244 So, too, as one proposal of Philip Dru 
after another translated itself into legislation, did the press come 
to recognize the "Silent Partner" as the author of the book. 
"Whatever the book had said should be, had come true," wrote 
Lane. "In the end Wilson had come to be Philip Dru." 

Despite his belittlement by the press, Bryan had, with 
surprising patience, overlooked up to this time the usurpation of 
his functions by House. But when the "Silent Partner" 
undertook to dictate the Federal Reserve Banking Act, Bryan 
felt betrayed by a man who seemed to him to represent the 
"interests," as well as the Internationalists. Thoroughly alarmed 
at the forces behind Wilson, and distrusting utterly the finally 
identified author of Philip Dru, the "Great Commoner" 
threatened openly, in October, to resign. 

"I am afraid we have come to the parting of the ways," 
remarked Wilson despairingly to Tumulty. 

Knowing that a break between Wilson and Bryan would be 
fatal to the Administration, Tumulty undertook, with the 
President's consent, to smooth the troubled waters. Bryan 
proved truly magnanimous, so that, in the end, Tumulty was 
able to adjust matters for the time being. 215 The seeds of 
discord had, however, been sown. Thenceforth it became 
House's settled purpose to oust both Bryan and Page, as 
definite obstacles to the Internationalist cause. 



Sir William Tyrrell's Mission to Washington. The Secret 
Anglo-American Accord. Page Becomes Suspicious of 
House. Expounds Democracy to Wilson. Wilson's First 
Annual Message to Congress. House and Houston Confer 
with Tyrrell and Benjamin Ide Wheeler. Wilson Agrees to 
Send House to Berlin in the Summer to Appeal to the Kaiser 
Over the Head of von Tirpitz and the Naval Party. Suddenly 
Calls on Congress to Repeal the Panama Tolls Exemption 

SINCE HOUSE'S VISIT to England, Marburg had been working 
ceaselessly with the British Government. Sir Max Waechter 
was now flooding Europe with propaganda for a general 
disarmament, to which the French were almost as much 
opposed as the Pan-Germans. Nevertheless, in a speech at 
Manchester on October 13, 1913, Winston Churchill renewed 
the proposal of a naval holiday. 

"Now," said the First Sea Lord, "we say to our great 
neighbor, Germany, 'if you will put off beginning your two 
ships for twelve months from the ordinary date when you 
would have begun them, we will put off beginning our four 
ships, in absolute good faith, for exactly the same period.' " 
About the same time Premier Asquith made it clear that the 
Ministry was back of the suggested program. 

Having learned through Bernstorff, Dumba, and translated 
code messages, of the purpose of House's visit to England, and 
knowing that Wilson and Grey were negotiating an Anglo- 
American accord, Grand Admiral von Tirpitz, leader of the 
Navalists and Junkers generally, greeted the British proposal 
with open derision. To the Germans, disarmament meant but 
one thing. In reply to the German official refusal, Churchill 
declared that, for every keel 


laid down by Germany, Britain would lay down two. 

It was now evident that "Der Tag" was near at hand. 
Marburg accordingly resigned his post, and returned to the 
United States to prepare Wilson for the anticipated calamity.* 
"' 103 Meantime he had finally convinced the British Government 
of the necessity of ending all misunderstandings with Wilson as 
quickly as possible; it was therefore decided to send Grey's 
Confidential Secretary — Sir William Tyrrell — a friend of 
America and an able diplomat, to Washington, ostensibly as a 
mere tourist. Page gave House notice of the proposed secret 
mission on October 26th, so that Wilson had already been 
prepared, when Tyrrell arrived. 

Tyrrell reached Washington November 11th. Before 
conferring with Wilson, he was given, on the 13th, an interview 
by Bryan, which took the form of a long harangue on the 
wickedness of the British Empire, particularly in Egypt, India, 
and Mexico. The British oil men, declared Bryan, were nothing 
but the "paymasters" of the British Cabinet. 

"You are wrong," replied the Englishman, who saw that the 
best thing to do was to refuse to take the Secretary seriously. 
"Lord Cowdray hasn't money enough. Through a long 
experience with corruption, the Mexican Cabinet has grown so 
greedy that Cowdray hasn't the money necessary to reach their 

"Ah," said Bryan, triumphantly, accepting this bantering 
answer in all seriousness, "then you admit the charge." 

Tyrrell saw that it was impossible to discuss Mexico 
seriously with Bryan, who was an emotionalist, not a thinker. 
"You have stripped me naked, Mr. Secretary, but I am 

Wilson, however, delighted the British envoy with his 
courtesy, charm, intelligence, and conversational powers. 
Tyrrell, in turn, soon convinced the President that the British, 
recognizing the predominant character of the American interest 
in Mexico, were willing to accept almost any policy in which 
Washington would take the lead. All they 

* Brand Whitlock was appointed to succeed him, December 
22, 1913. 


asked was that British property and British lives be pro-tected; 
these safeguarded, Great Britain was ready to stand aside and 
let the United States deal with Mexico in its own way. 

"When I go back to England," said Tyrrell, as the interview 
approached its end, "I shall be asked to explain your Mexican 
policy. Can you tell me what it is?" 

Wilson looked at him earnestly, and replied, in his most 
decisive manner: "I am going to teach the South American 
Republics to elect good men!" 

Beyond this, Tyrrell could only obtain an opinion from 
Wilson that Carranza was better than Huerta, and that Villa was 
not so bad as he had been painted — Scott's idea. 

Tyrrell then promised that the British Government would 
cooperate with Wilson in ridding Mexico of Huerta, if Wilson 
would go forward with the repeal of the Panama Act. A bargain 
had now been reached, one of its terms being plain, in that 
Wilson showed no further fear of Japan. 99 ' 103 As previously 
promised by Page, he could now have anything in the power of 
Britain to give him. A few days later, Sir Lionel Carden, as 
dean of the European diplomats, advised Huerta to abdicate; 
while Japan dared not protest. 

By this time Page, too, had become suspicious of House. 
Making a clear distinction between an Anglo-American alliance 
for mutual protection, and the internationalism into which 
Wilson was gradually being led, he did not want the United 
States to become involved in entangling alliances with Germany 
and other continental powers, in whom he had no faith. He 
therefore wrote a series of letters to Wilson, stressing the 
fundamental distinctions between the Continental and American 
systems of government, which, he declared, would not mix. He 
had much to say about democracy and liberty, and about 
America's duty to humanity, along the lines of Lecky. It was her 
part to hold herself aloof, just as Great Britain had done, from 
any association with the Continent. At the same time he con- 
tinued to urge upon Wilson a change in his Mexican 


policy. As a practical Democrat, he believed, like Stead, in 
"shooting democracy" into the Mexicans! " 

Although Wilson concurred in much of Page's democratic 
idealism, he disliked Page's methods, and began to lose faith in 
his doctrines. Accordingly, on December 2, 1913, the very day 
of his first annual message to Congress, House and Houston 
began a series of conferences with Tyrrell, Marburg, and 
Benjamin Ide Wheeler, President of the University of 
California, and a leading Internationalist, looking to the 
formation of a league of nations. 

Wilson, in his message, withheld many facts which he 
deemed it unwise to publish. Like all the other Internationalists, 
he was intimidated by Japan. Thus, lauding the achievements of 
America in the realm of international peace, and the fact that 
thirty-one treaties of arbitration had already been negotiated by 
the Administration, he said: 

"There is but one cloud on our horizon.* This has shown 
itself to the south of us, and hangs over Mexico. There can be 
no certain prospect of peace in America until General Huerta 
has surrendered his usurped authority in Mexico; until it is 
understood on all hands, indeed, that such pretended 
governments will not be countenanced or dealt with by the 
Government of the United States. We are the friends of 
constitutional government in America; we are more than its 
friends, we are its champions; because in no other way can our 
neighbors, to whom we would wish in every way to make proof 
of our friendship, work out their own development in peace and 
liberty. Mexico has no Government. The attempt to maintain 
one at the City of Mexico has broken down, and a mere military 
despotism has been set up, which has hardly more than the 
semblance of national authority. It originated in the usurpation 
of Victoriano Huerta, who, after a brief attempt to play the part 
of constitutional President, has at last cast aside even the 
pretense of legal right, and declared himself dictator. As a 
consequence, a condition of affairs now exists in Mexico, 
which has made it doubtful whether even the most 

* Italics the author's. This is conclusive evidence of the 
Anglo-American secret agreement effected by Tyrrell. 


elementary and fundamental rights, either of her own people or 
of the citizens of other countries resident within her territory, 
can long be successfully safeguarded, and which threatens, if 
long continued, to imperil the interests of peace, order, and 
tolerable life in the lands immediately to the south of us. Even 
if the usurper had succeeded in his purposes, in despite of the 
constitution of the Republic and the rights of its people, he 
would have set up nothing but a precarious and hateful power, 
which could have lasted but a little while, and whose eventual 
downfall would have left the country in a more deplorable 
condition than ever. But he has not succeeded. He has forfeited 
the respect and the moral support even of those who were at one 
time willing to see him succeed. Little by little he has been 
completely isolated. By a little every day, his power and pres- 
tige are crumbling, and the collapse is not far away. We shall 
not, I believe, be obliged to alter our policy of watchful waiting. 
And then, when the end comes, we shall hope to see 
constitutional order restored in distressed Mexico by the concert 
and energy of such of her leaders as prefer the liberty of their 
people to their own ambitions. ..." 

Obviously Wilson was still bent, with Britain's aid, on 
forcing Huerta out of office. 

Before Tyrrell left Washington, it was agreed between him 
and House that after the repeal of the Panama Act, House 
should, as Wilson's representative, proceed direct to Berlin, and 
urge the Kaiser, over the heads of von Tirpitz and the Naval 
Party, to accept Churchill's proposals, and the principle of a 
League of Nations. House was now to deal direct with all the 

"In my budget of yesterday," he wrote Page on December 
13, 1913, "I did not tell you of the suggestion which I made to 
Sir William Tyrrell when he was here, and which I also made to 
the President. 

"It occurred to me that, between us all, we might bring 
about the naval holiday which Winston Churchill has proposed. 
My plan is that I should go to Germany in the Spring and see 
the Kaiser, and try to win him over to the 


thought that is uppermost in our mind and that of the British 

"Sir William thought there was a good sporting chance of 
success. He offered to let me have all the correspondence that 
had passed between the British and German governments upon 
this question, so that I might be thoroughly informed as to the 
position of them both. He thought I should go directly to 
Germany without stopping in England, and that Gerard should 
prepare the Kaiser for my coming, telling him of my relations 
with the President. He thought this would be sufficient without 
any further credentials. 

"In other words, he would do with the Kaiser what you did 
with Sir Edward Grey last summer. 

"I spoke to the President about the matter and he seemed 
pleased with the suggestion: in fact, I might say, he was 
enthusiastic. He said, just as Sir William did, that it would be 
too late for this year's budget; but he made a suggestion that he 
get the Appropriations Committee to incorporate a clause, 
permitting him to eliminate certain parts of the battleship 
budget in the event that other nations declared for a naval 
holiday. So this will be done and will further the plan. 

"Now I want to get you into the game. If you think it 
advisable, take the matter up with Sir William Tyrrell and then 
with Sir Edward Grey, or directly with Sir Edward, if you 
prefer, and give me the benefit of your advice and 
conclusions." 10 

The question here arises what was the "game" which House 
had in mind? Was the expression just slang, or did it have a 
specific meaning? 

Manifestly it was something new, for already Haldane and 
Churchill had exhausted every practicable argument for an 
Anglo-German accord. Page was already party to the game" of 
separating Britain from Japan, though the scheme of detaching 
Franz-Joseph from the Kaiser had proved abortive. 

We have not to look far for the answer. Just three weeks 
after the letter to Page already quoted, the following, 


not included by Seymour in House's compilation, was written. 

"January 4th, 1914. 
"Dear Page: — 

"... Benj. Ide Wheeler took lunch with me the other day. 
He is just back from Germany, and he is on the most intimate 
terms with the Kaiser. He tells me he often takes dinner with 
the family alone, and spends the evening with them. 

"I know, now, the different Cabinet officials who have the 
Kaiser's confidence, and I know his attitude toward England, 
naval armaments, war, and world politics in general. 

"Wheeler spoke to me very frankly, and the information he 
gave me will be invaluable in the event that my plans carry. 
The general idea is to bring about a sympathetic understanding 
between England, Germany, and America, not only upon the 
question of disarmament, but upon other matters of equal im- 
portance to themselves, and to the world at large. 
"It seems to me that Japan should come into this pact, but 
Wheeler tells me that the Kaiser feels very strongly upon the 
question of Asiatics. He thinks the contest of the future will be 
between the Eastern and Western civilizations. . . . "Your friend 

"E. M. HOUSE."* 

This letter, when published by Hendrick after Page's death, 
must have risen from the grave to haunt House like a spectre. 

Observe that House had been informed that the Kaiser 
believed the next war would be between the Eastern and 
Western civilizations. This has been confirmed ad infinitum. 22. 
The Kaiser's admonition to his troops upon their departure for 
China in 1900 is well known. They were to emulate Attila, so 
that a yellow man would never dare look askance upon a 
German! 84 He had just read the Valour of Ignorance. Within six 
months after Wheeler's meeting with House, the Kaiser was 
himself to express his fears of Japan to the latter. 103 

Moreover, Wheeler had discounted the prospect of the 
Kaiser countenancing a league of nations with Japan as a 
member, as previously contemplated by Wilson and the 

* Page, Vol. I, p. 28 1 . (Italics added.) 


Internationalists. 89 The "game" which Wheeler and House had 
devised, as shown by House's subsequent reports of his 
conference with the Kaiser, seems thus sufficiently plain. 
House was to point out to the Kaiser the danger to Germany, as 
a part of Western civilization, of allowing Japan to assail the 
United States, seize her Pacific possessions, and effect a foot- 
hold in Latin America which, in America's unprepared state, 
she might do. At the same time, he was to point out the 
terrible danger to Europe of a powerfully armed semi-Asiatic 
Russia. Then he was to appeal to the Kaiser for the union of the 
Germans with their Saxon cousins — the British and 
Americans — to safeguard the world against both the Yellow 
and the Slavic peril. Surely if Germany entered a league of 
nations with America, Britain, France, Russia, and Japan, all to 
disarm, there could be no more danger from the East! 

This then, was what House had meant when he said to Page 
that he proposed to do with the Kaiser what Page had done with 
Grey the past summer — establish an understanding for mutual 
protection. In the one case Britain had cooperated with America 
to end Japan's threats against Australia, New Zealand, and the 
Pacific possessions of America. In the other, Germany was to 
unite with Britain and America to protect Europe and America 
against both Japan and Russia. And this having been 
accomplished, England, France, and America would be safe 
from Germany, for Germany would then be helpless! 

Well might Page have been alarmed. He could not fail to see 
the dangerous character of the vain and ambitious schemer 
whom Wilson had made his "Silent Partner." Constantly 
stressing the idea of world leadership by Wilson, and thus 
flattering the President's vanity, Page deemed House a positive 
menace to the country. Yet the more earnestly he sought to 
discourage Wilson from becoming a party to House's schemes, 
the more objectionable he became to the President. 

Though seven weeks had elapsed since Tyrrell's conference 
with Wilson, nothing had been done about the Panama Act. 
Finally, on January 6th, Page wrote House 


that it was of paramount importance with respect to both Japan 
and Mexico that something be done, otherwise the British 
Government might fall in the face of existing anti-American 
sentiment, when Parliament met in February. Wilson was thus 
at last compelled to act. On January 24th, House notified Page 
that the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations had been called 
to the White House, and informed of the President's purpose. 
With the Senate thus prepared in advance, Wilson appeared 
before Congress on March 5th to make the most powerful 
appeal to the country of which he was capable. 

"Gentlemen of the Congress: I have come to you upon an 
errand which can be very briefly performed, but I beg that you 
will not measure its importance by the number of sentences in 
which I state it. No communication I have addressed to the 
Congress carried with it graver or more far-reaching implica- 
tions as to the interest of the country, and I come now to speak 
upon a matter with regard to which I am charged in a peculiar 
degree, by the Constitution itself, with personal responsibility. 

"I have come to ask you for the repeal of that provision of 
the Panama Canal Act of August 24, 1912, which exempts ves- 
sels engaged in the coastwise trade of the United States from 
payment of tolls, and to urge upon you the justice, the wisdom, 
and the large policy of such a repeal, with the utmost earnest- 
ness of which I am capable. 

"In my own judgment, very fully considered and maturely 
formed, exemption constitutes a mistaken economic policy from 
every point of view, and is, moreover, in plain contravention of 
the treaty with Great Britain concerning the canal, concluded on 
November 18, 1901. But I have not come to urge upon you my 
personal views. I have come to state to you a fact and a 
situation. Whatever may be our own differences of opinion 
concerning this much debated measure, its meaning is not 
debated outside the United States. Everywhere else the 
language of the treaty is given but one interpretation, and that 
interpretation precludes the exemption I am asking you to re- 
peal. We consented to the treaty; its language we accepted, if 
we did not originate it; and we are too big, too powerful, too 
self-respecting a nation, to interpret with a too strained or re- 
fined reading, the words of our own promises, just because we 
have power enough to give us leave to read them as we please. 


The large thing to do is the only thing we can afford to do, a 
voluntary withdrawal from a position everywhere questioned 
and misunderstood. We ought to reverse our action without 
raising the question whether we were right or wrong, and so 
once more deserve our reputation for generosity and for the 
redemption of every obligation without quibble or hesitation. 

"I ask this of you in support of the foreign policy of the 
administration. I shall not know how to deal with other matters 
of even greater delicacy and nearer consequence, if you do not 
grant it to me in ungrudging measure. 

"No communication I have addressed to Congress, has car- 
ried with it more grave and far-reaching implications to the 
interests of the country." 

This message was read to the Senate without having been 
laid before the Cabinet. "We had discussed the matter, as I have 
indicated," says Houston, "in the spring of 1913. He had not 
mentioned the matter since that time. All of us were somewhat 
puzzled by his reference to matters of even greater delicacy, 
and by the seriousness of his manner and language. My guess is 
that he is meeting with resistance in his handling of Mexican 
and other matters from Great Britain, especially because she 
doubts our sincerity and good faith; partly because of our action 
on the tolls matter. I know that Page is constantly representing 
that he is very little use in England, because we do not take the 
course which will show that we mean to be decent. Lane 
thought that bringing up the repeal was bad politics, that it 
would create resistance and block other more important things. 
Bryan, who referred to the fact that the Democratic platform 
had a plank opposing the repeal, had discovered a way out to 
his satisfaction. " 

Here, then, we have the explanation of Wilson's delays. 
Bryan had been won over at last to the repeal, but Lane had 
been opposing it, because it would interfere with the domestic 
program which, for reasons of practical politics, he deemed 
more important than the vindication of the Nation's honor! 
Obviously too, neither Lane nor Houston knew of Wilson's 
agreement with Grey through Tyrrell. Indeed, so secretly had 
Wilson, House, and Page been deal- 


ing with the Japanese question, that not even Tumulty, watching 
Wilson with the lynx eyes of a special interest, suspected what 
was going on. 

"This ominous language," wrote Tumulty years later, 
referring to Wilson's sudden appeal to the Senate, "remains 
unexplained to this day." 

But Harvey was suspicious — the law, he insisted, should be 
repealed on moral grounds alone. If the country were really in 
danger, it should be informed. In his opinion, Wilson's effort to 
scare Congress into an action of political expediency for secret 
reasons, was utterly wrong, and the act of a demagogue. 

Nevertheless Page and the British were delighted. Having 
averted any Japanese threat, Wilson was now free to deal with 
Mexico as he saw fit. And, in a restored British friendship, he 
had laid the foundation of a league of nations under his own 
leadership ! 

He had, however, overestimated his ability to carry Con- 
gress by storm. The debate provoked by his appeal — one of the 
bitterest in the history of Congress — was to continue three 
months. Moreover, it marked the beginning of a struggle on 
Wilson's part to reserve to himself the final dictation of foreign 
relations, which was, in the end, to prove his undoing. 

The State Department was, by this time, utterly demor- 
alized. With non-legal and undisciplined mind, Bryan like 
Wilson, held diplomats and particularly lawyers in contempt, as 
mere obstructionists. Completely out of sympathy with 
Wilson's patent purpose to transform the Democratic party, and 
abandon the country's traditional foreign policy, John Basset 
Moore, Counsellor of the State Department, now resigned.* Far 
and away the ablest man in the Department, he was succeeded 
by Robert Lansing, the Solicitor, who was the son-in-law of 
John W. Foster, Secretary of State in Harrison's Cabinet. 

* Resignation to take effect as of March 4, 1913. 



Reactions to Wilson's Message to Congress and His Appeal 
for the Repeal of The Panama Tolls Exemption Act. The 
Tampico, "Ypringa," and Vera Cruz Incidents. Confusion 
Confounded. The Constitution Violated. War in Fact. 
Mediation by the ABC Powers. Wilson Attempts to Explain 
His Mexican Policy. 

WILSON'S SUDDEN CALL upon Congress for the repeal of 
the Panama Tolls Exemption Act, was fraught with 
dire consequences. Through their systems of secret 
intelligence, Japan and Germany were fully apprised of the 
Anglo-American accord behind it. 244 In the face of this accord, 
Japan dared not assail the United States, or interfere directly in 
Mexican affairs. On the other hand, Mexicans of all factions 
bitterly resented Wilson's purpose to replace Huerta with 
Carranza. Was it not a family fight, in which Wilson had no 
right to intervene? 

The German militarists had counted on Japan and Mexico 
engaging the military resources of the United States, while the 
Irish revolution, liberally supported by German agents, kept 
Britain out of the contemplated general conflict. With Japan 
eliminated as a possible assailant of the United States, the 
Wilhelmstrasse saw that Mexico alone could be relied on. 
Therefore the Germans agreed to furnish Huerta with arms, 
with which to maintain a war against the United States at the 
proper time. 

While House was completing his plans to visit Berlin, an 
unforeseen event threw all the German and Mexican plans 
awry. On April 9, 1914, a Paymaster and two sailors, who had 
landed at Tampico in a whaleboat to take on supplies for the U. 
S. S. Dolphin, were arrested by a party of Huertatistas, without 
the sanction of the local authorities. 


Although they were released by the Governor, almost im- 
mediately, with apologies, Admiral Mayo, reflecting the disgust 
of military men generally with the policy of "watchful waiting," 
took advantage, on his own responsibility, of a technicality of 
the Law of Nations, to demand from Mexico a salute to the flag 
of the United States, as an act of apology commensurate with 
the offense committed. Huerta, of course, refused to comply. 

At the time this occurred, Wilson and McAdoo were at the 
Greenbrier, at White Sulphur Springs. The despatch from Bryan 
reporting the incident, made apparently, little impression on 
Wilson's mind. He did not even mention it to McAdoo. 103 
Favoring immediate intervention, Houston was, like the other 
Internationalists, openly critical of Wilson's inaction. The 
Admiral had, in his judgment, erred, but should either be 
punished, or supported through war. Wilson now hurried back 
to Washington, on the urgent appeals of McAdoo and Bryan. 

The "Apostle of Peace" was furious. The action of this "hot- 
headed Admiral" seemed to justify his mistrust of soldiers and 
sailors generally. Here was the country crying out for war, 
despite all he and Wilson had done to prevent it! In its present 
temper, it would never stand for the punishment of the Admiral. 
To satisfy the popular demand, there was, therefore, but one 
thing to do. Wilson must create the impression that he was at 
last prepared to intervene, by calling upon Congress for the 
necessary authority. This might scare the Latin-Americans into 
forcing Huerta to comply with the Admiral's demand, which 
would, in any event, cool down the popular temper. Then, if the 
matter were dragged out, nothing more need be done. Wilson 
might take advantage of the occasion to place the whole blame 
on Huerta, and compel the Mexicans to choose between him 
and intervention. The latter, he knew, the Latin-Americans 
would not permit, were it possible to avoid it. 

On the 20th, Wilson appeared before Congress. "I have 
come," he said, "for approval and support in the course I now 
propose to pursue, and to request authority to use the 


armed forces of the United States in such ways and to such 
extent as may be necessary, to enforce the demands of this 
Government. There can be no thought of aggression," he added, 
reiterating that the people of Mexico were entitled to settle their 
domestic affairs in their own way, and that we sincerely desired 
to respect their right. It was his opinion that "the present 
situation need have none of the grave complications of 
interference, if we deal with it promptly, firmly, and wisely." 

Congress was bewildered. It was manifestly impossible to 
enforce a "new spirit and attitude" on the part of Hu-erta's 
followers without interfering in Mexican affairs. And how 
could Wilson seek authority to employ armed forces without 
thought of aggression? So Congress hesitated, while the 
Pacifists conferred with Bryan. 

On the night of this message, Bryan, Daniels, General 
Wood, Admirals Fiske and Blue, and John Lind, just back from 
Mexico, were summoned to a conference at the White House. 
"The President desired to see us," wrote Wood, "to ascertain the 
best way of making reprisals at Tampico. Mr. Bryan came out 
rather strongly in his true colors, when he said that reprisals in 
the way of occupying the town and taking the gunboats, would 
really be to assist the Constitutionalists, as we did not intend to 
hold the town eventually; and while he wanted to do this, he did 
not want it to be done in a way which could be interpreted as 
helping the Constitutionalists; or, as he said in conclusion: 'I 
want to help them, but I do not want it to appear as helping 
them.' "... About an hour was passed in this discussion. Finally 
it was decided to leave the method of procedure at Tampico to 
be determined by Admiral Fletcher, after a report had been 
received from him. 

"It was also decided to occupy, some time tomorrow 
morning, the port of Vera Cruz. Lind suggested that we occupy 
only the custom house and not the city. The military absurdity 
of this was too apparent to require much discussion. . . ." 93 

A wrangle between Wood and the sailors over the use of the 
American destroyers followed, during which the re- 


port was received that the German ship Ypringa from Hamburg, 
with a cargo of 15,000,000 rounds of small arms ammunition 
and 260 machine guns, had left Havana. It was decided not to 
allow a delivery to be made in Mexico, and to seize the cargo. 
"The President finally asked all of us individually if we did not 
think this ought to be done, and we all agreed it should be 
done." With this understanding, Wilson retired. 93 

According to Daniels, information was received by him late 
that night that the Ypringa was to touch at Vera Cruz the 
following morning. He at once notified Bryan, who called up 
Wilson on the telephone. After hearing Bryan's urgent 
recommendation that the arms be seized, Wilson called Daniels 
to the telephone. "What do you think, Daniels?" 

"I can wire Admiral Fletcher to prevent it — a delivery — 
and take the custom house. I think that should be done." 61 

Wilson hesitated, while more conversation with Bryan 
followed. It was indeed a serious matter to deal with at 2 A.M. 
from one's bed chamber, with two members of the cabinet at the 
other end of the telephone. That Wilson was confused in mind, 
is evident from his final conclusion — "There is no alternative 
but to land." Like Bryan and Daniels, he seems to have been 
unaware of the distinction between seizing arms in transit, and 
an invasion of Mexican territory; all three despising lawyers, 
they recognized no need of legal advice. So Wilson assented to 
an act which was not only one of open warfare, but was, lacking 
the authority of Congress, plainly unconstitutional. 

"As I sat at the phone on this fateful morning," says 
Tumulty, "away from the hurly-burly world outside, clad only 
in my pajamas, and listened to this discussion, the tenseness of 
the whole situation, and its grave possibilities of war with all its 
tragedy, gripped me. Here were three men quietly gathered 
about a 'phone, pacifists at heart, men who had been criticized 
and lampooned throughout the whole country as being too 
proud to fight, now, without hesitation of any kind, agreeing on 
a course of action that might result in bringing two nations to 


Anomaly of anomalies! Three supposed Pacifists, act-ing 
together, were to bring about a state of war without knowing it, 
while House was actually preparing to leave for Berlin to argue 
the Kaiser into the ways of peace! After Bryan and Daniels had 
left the telephone, Wilson said: "Tumulty, are you there? What 
did you think of my message?" "I replied," says Tumulty, "that 
there was nothing else to do under the circumstances." He then 
said: "It is too bad, isn't it, but we could not allow that cargo to 
land. The Mexicans intend using those guns upon our own 
boys. It is hard to take action of this kind. I have tried to keep 
out of this Mexican mess, but we are now on the brink of war, 
and there is no alternative." 215 

Daniels himself has described the zeal with which he 
proceeded. An order was immediately despatched to Admiral 
Fletcher: "Seize custom house. Do not permit war supplies to be 
delivered to Huerta Government, or to any other party." 61 

In view of this telegraphic order from the Secretary of the 
Navy himself, Admiral Fletcher naturally assumed that war 
upon Mexico had been authorized by Congress. At once he 
ordered the Marines on board the Prairie and the Florida to land, 
and seize the custom house of Vera Cruz. This was promptly 
done on April 21st, with the loss of nineteen killed and seventy 
wounded, while the Mexican casualties were much more 

Exactly when Wilson perceived that he had exceeded his 
Constitutional authority, does not appear. Whatever may have 
been the feelings of those who understood the situation, 
Congress, on April 22nd, approved his recommendation, in 
order to save the situation as far as possible. This sufficed to 
give Constitutional sanction to the existing state of warfare, but 
not to make Wilson's act lawful, either under the Constitution or 
the Law of Nations. 

The Mexicans were infuriated, and nothing could have 
consolidated them behind Huerta like this unlawful trespass 
upon their national sovereignty. "If America Wants war, she 
shall have it!" So the Huertatists cried, 


claiming loudly the support of all patriotic Mexicans. What the 
German militarists thought, can well be imagined! 

How was Wilson to extricate himself from this new and 
even more extraordinary Mexican situation? There were many 
complications. He had voluntarily gone before Congress, and 
asked for authority to do what, in fact, had already been done — 
to resort to hostilities against Mexico. Naturally the American 
people, especially after the sacrifice of the Marines, would not 
sanction a withdrawal from Vera Cruz, short of a compliance 
by Huerta with the President's demands. Nor could the landing 
force be left there unre-enforced, save at the risk of its capture 
or destruction. Sensing his indecision, the press was scathingly 
critical. His incapacity to deal with the existing situation has 
been described by a Cabinet member. "The President was pro- 
foundly disturbed," says Houston. "He said, with much feeling, 
that there had occurred that which might take the nation into a 
war and cause the loss of the lives of many men, and then he 
added suddenly: 'If there are any of you who still believe in 
prayer, I wish you would think seriously over this matter 
between now and our next meeting.' This came with something 
of a shock, and sent us from the Cabinet room with decidedly 
solemn faces." 106 

Preparing to go to the border at once, Wood went to the 
White House to discuss the plan of invasion. But Wilson had 
decided against war. 

"The President's idea," wrote Wood in his diary, "is that no 
more troops are to be sent down, lest it appear that we are really 
going to make war. Papers full of rumor of a rupture in the 
cabinet, Lane, William B. Wilson, and others standing with 
Garrison against the Daniels-Bryan crowd . . . Bryan very 
flabby and wobbly, without knowledge of what he is going to 
do. Said there was no use in getting ready; that that would only 
make the other fellow get more ready, then we would have to 
do more" etc. 

It is not a pretty picture which Daniels, Houston, and Wood 
have drawn of Wilson, as the Commander-in-Chief of the 
military forces of the United States. His old fear that 


he was not by nature suited to cope with war, seemed well 

The Vera Cruz incident immediately preceded the expiration 
of Wood's four year detail as Chief of Staff. Over the latter, 
Bryan was delighted. On April 22, 1914, Wood was officially 
succeeded by General Wotherspoon, who had himself but a 
short time to serve before retirement. The former Chief of Staff 
was now assigned to the command of the department of the 
East, with headquarters at Governor's Island, New York, and, 
pursuant to the original plan of eventually making Scott Chief 
of Staff, the latter was ordered to duty in Washington as 
Wotherspoon's assistant. 

The solution of the Mexican tangle which Wilson and Bryan 
worked out, was a clever one. The ABC Powers of South 
America were much alarmed by what they feared was the first 
step in the seizure of Latin- American territory. If House's 
mission were to have any chance of success, the world must be 
shown that America had no hostile designs upon Mexico. 
Bryan, therefore, urged the ABC Powers to offer mediation, 
which they did. The evidence is, however, clear that Wilson and 
Bryan left no doubt in the minds of the mediating governments 
that Huerta must go! With this understanding, the offer of 
mediation was accepted, and representatives of all the interested 
parties were appointed to assemble without delay at Niagara 
Falls. The Marines at Vera Cruz were meanwhile to be rein- 
forced. The American army was there, not to compel com- 
pliance with the President's demands upon the Mexican 
Government, but to prevent further hostilities. The fact that the 
retention of Mexican territory by an American military force 
was itself a continuation of open warfare, was to be glossed 
over in every way possible. A memorial ceremony for the dead 
Marines, to be held at the Brooklyn Navy Yard on May 11th, 
was used as an opportunity for Wilson to explain the situation 
to the country. 

"We have gone down to Mexico," he declared in this 
address, "to save mankind if we can find out the way.* . . . We 
do not want to fight the Mexicans. We want to serve 

* Italics added. 


the Mexicans if we can, because we know how we would like 
to be free, and how we would like to be served if there were 
friends standing by, in such a case, ready to serve us. . . . These 
boys have shown us the way, and it is easier to walk in it, 
because they have gone before and shown us how. May God 
grant to all of us that vision of patriotic service which here, in 
solemnity and grief and pride, is borne in upon our hearts and 

But how, it was enquired, could those who had died in the 
service of their flag, point the way not to fight in defense of it? 
In the opinion of many, rhetoric was being used to befuddle the 
facts, and to conceal a serious international blunder on the part 
of the Administration. 

Wilson's course at this time, and the considerations which 
dictated it, were explained by him in a remarkable press 
interview which he gave Samuel G. Blythe on April 27, 1914.* 
All of Marburg's and Page's ideas about the necessity of 
democratizing the backward nations, were expressed by Wilson 
in the words of Page, which, according to Wilson, were "lamps 
for his feet." Yet, he did not commit himself to the methods 
proposed by them. Democracy was not to be shot into the 
Mexicans. They were to be left to butcher themselves into a 
democratic state of mind, with the Americans meanwhile at 
their mercy. 

* After being published in the Saturday Evening Post, 
Blythe's article was printed in the Congressional Record of May 
23, 1914. 



Taft Publishes His "The United States and Peace." The 
Super-Ambassador Leaves for Germany on the "Great 
Adventure." Interviews the Kaiser. The Repeal of the 
Panama Tolls Exemption Act. Anglo-American Friendship 
Restored. Serajevo and the Collapse of the "Great 

THE BLYTHE INTERVIEW had a very special significance. It 
was to prepare the world for the mission of House to 
Berlin, agreed upon by Wilson with Tyrrell the preceding 
November. With the danger of Japan out of the way for the 
moment, the Pan-American mediators at Niagara, and the 
Mexicans quieted down, the time had come for the Super- 
Ambassador to be off. The plan was for him to make a direct 
appeal to the Kaiser, over the heads of von Tirpitz and the 
militarists who were in control of the German Government, and 
to be in London at the moment when Congress repealed the 
Panama Tolls Exemption Act, to exploit this to the utmost. 
Therefore House was given final authority to proceed, the day 
after the Blythe interview. 

"You are preparing to make the ground fallow," said 
Wilson. "The object you have in mind is too important to 
neglect." 103 

Bryan learned of this with mingled feelings of resentment 
and mortification. He had bitterly opposed the retention by 
Wilson of Marburg, a Republican and an intimate friend of 
Taft's, as Minister to Belgium. Now he could not fail to see that 
House was the "go between" of Carnegie, Taft, Marburg, and 
Wilson. Who was really Secretary of State, he or Marburg? 
Marburg, on the other hand, deemed Bryan an utter 
incompetent in his post, and 


simply disdained to deal with him in any way, which did not 
tend to placate Bryan. 

Since his retirement from the White House, Taft, now head 
of the Yale Law School, had been ceaselessly writing in the 
magazines, and lecturing on arbitration and the proposed World 
Court, under the auspices of Marburg's organization and the 
New York Peace Society. With Root and Butler, he also 
maintained close connection in the common effort to educate 
the militarists generally, and particularly the Kaiser, the 
Emperor Franz-Joseph, the Czar, the Sultan, the Mikado, 
Huerta, Carranza, Villa, Roosevelt and Bryan, in the direction 
of peace. The close cooperation between Root, Taft, Marburg, 
and Wilson is evidenced by the fact that, within a few days after 
the Blythe interview, the peace speeches which Taft had made 
since 1909, were published by the New York Peace Society in a 
volume entitled The United States and Peace, with a foreword 
by Hamilton Holt, editor of The Independent, and a prominent 
Democratic Internationalist. 

"Mr. Taft's high statesmanship," said Holt, "inaugurated a 
movement that will not end until, as Victor Hugo prophesied, 
'the only battlefield will be the market opening to commerce, 
and the mind opening to new ideas.'" 209 

Taft's whole Internationalist philosophy appears in this 
work. Like Carnegie, Marburg, Butler, Bryce, and Lecky, he 
believed that the spread of democracy throughout the world 
necessarily tended, by reason of the control it assured to the 
people over the foreign policy of their governments, to avoid 
war to a great extent. Yet he admitted, in a somewhat apologetic 
mood, that the war between Italy and Tripoli, the war in China, 
the Balkan-Turkish War, the second Balkan War, the war in 
Haiti, and the Mexican disturbances, indicated that the dawn of 
universal peace was not immediately at hand. 209 He pointed out, 
nevertheless, in great detail, the success with which 
international federation had met, and thought it not too much to 
ask from the Democratic party that action be taken on the 
matter of enforcing treaty obligations. 

"The negotiations with Japan would, I am sure," he 


wrote, "be greatly assisted by giving such an earnest evidence 
of the sincerity of our government in protecting her people in 
the rights we assure them. If it be said that the party in power 
is traditionally opposed to giving the Fedral Government more 
functions, and to concentration of power in Washington, we 
may well urge that, when the party in power has swallowed 
camels in the passage of a law governing the largest 
government control of banking and currency in our history, and 
in projecting a law vesting the widest Federal powers in respect 
to corporations doing interstate business, and another looking to 
Federal negotiation of presidential primaries, the party leaders 
should not strain at the gnat of Federal performance of Federal 
promises. . . ." 209 

Here again was a plain intimation of House's line of 
approach to the Kaiser, though the whole truth was, as usual, 
suppressed. Haldane had exhausted the Anglo-German peace 
arguments. The Kaiser was known, as declared by Wheeler to 
House, to be fearful of "the rising tide of color." House was to 
point out to him the threat of Japan to the peace of the world, 
which could only be overcome by the great European Powers 
standing together, forming a league of nations. Then, if 
Germany succumbed to the plea, all the militarists could be 
disarmed! It was all very clever. 

The "Silent Partner" was not deficient in imagination. Poetic 
in the license he took, he styled the mission of making the 
political ground of Europe "fallow for peace," the "Grand 

"House set forth," says Seymour, "on his extraordinary 
mission, a private American citizen whose only relevant title 
was 'personal friend of the President,' a single individual hoping 
to pull the lever of common sense that might divert the Nations 
of the Old World from the track of war to that of peace. . . . The 
stake for which he played was tremendous. It was the peace of 
the world. If he failed, no harm was done. And if he 
succeeded — !" 

But what about the American people? They had no more 
idea than Page, of sanctioning an entangling alliance 


with the powers of Europe. House was proceeding, not on any 
authority of the President of the United States, but solely as the 
personal representative of Woodrow Wilson Yet it is obvious 
that his purpose was to commit Wilson as President. Apparently 
Wilson, like House, did not intend to be bound by limitations of 
law. In his mind, the object being a worthy one, fully justified 
the means. Moreover' was he not being supported by Taft, 
Carnegie, Root, Knox Butler and other great Republicans? 

Taking the advice of Sir William Tyrrell, House sailed 
direct from New York for Germany on the Hamburg- American 
liner Imperator, having directed Gerard to make the necessary 
preparations in Berlin for his arrival. While en route, he wrote 
Page on May 21st: "The chances for success in this great 
adventure are slender enough, at best. The President has done 
his part in the letter I have with me, and it is clearly up to me to 
do mine...." 

Although the Army and Navy were now, like the foreign 
service, much demoralized, it was important for Wilson to 
prepare the way still further for House, by a special appeal to 
the German people for peace. This could not fail to cause the 
Socialists to put renewed pressure upon the Kaiser. Therefore, 
on June 5th, while House was in Berlin, Wilson said, in an 
address to the graduating class of the Naval Academy: 

"What do you think is the most lasting impression that those 
boys down at Vera Cruz are going to leave? They have had to 
use some force — I pray God it may not be necessary for them to 
use any more — but do you think that the way they fought is 
going to be the most lasting impression? Have men not fought 
ever since the world began? Is there anything new in using 
force? The new things in the world are the things that are 
divorced from force. The things that show the moral compul- 
sions of the human conscience, those are the things by which 
we have been building up civilization, not by force. And the 
lasting impression that those boys are going to leave is this, that 
they exercise self-control; that they are ready and diligent to 
make the place where they went, fitter to live in than they found 
it; that they regarded other people's rights; that they did 


not strut and bluster, but went quietly, like self-respecting 
gentlemen, about their legitimate work. And the people of Vera 
Cruz, who feared the Americans and despised the Americans, 
are going to get a very different taste in their mouths about the 
whole thing, when the boys of the Navy and the Army come 
away. Is that not something to be proud of, that you know how 
to use force like men of conscience and like gentlemen, serving 
your fellowmen and not trying to overcome them? Like that 
gallant gentleman who has so long borne the heats and 
perplexities and distresses of the situation in Vera Cruz — 
Admiral Fletcher. I mention him, because his service there has 
been longer, and so much of the early perplexities fell upon 
him. I have been in almost daily communication with Admiral 
Fletcher, and I have tested his temper. I have tested his 
discretion. I know that he is a man with a touch of states- 
manship about him, and he has grown bigger in my eye each 
day as I have read his dispatches, for he has sought always to 
serve the thing he was trying to do, in the temper that we all 
recognize, and love to believe is typically American. 

"I challenge you youngsters to go out with these concep- 
tions, knowing that you are part of the Government and force of 
the United States, and that men will judge us by you. I am not 
afraid of the verdict. I can not look in your faces and doubt 
what it will be, but I want you to take these great engines of 
force out onto the seas like adventurers enlisted for the ele- 
vation of the spirit of the human race. For that is the only 
distinction that America has. Other nations have been strong, 
other nations have piled wealth as high as the sky, but they 
have come into disgrace because they used their force and their 
wealth for the oppression of mankind and their own aggran- 
dizement; and America will not bring glory to herself, but 
disgrace, by following the beaten paths of history. We must 
strike out upon new paths, and we must count upon you gentle- 
men to be the explorers who will carry this spirit and spread 
this message all over the seas and in every port of the civilized 

The German militarists were not deceived. They had long 

since learned of the Anglo-American accord and its object.* 

They were not to be tricked into a disarmament pact. Nor did 

they propose to allow the Kaiser to be lured 

* Yardley has shown that all the Governments of Europe 
were able to read Wilson-House secret code. See 244. 


by Wilson, through House, into another unwise declaration like 
that of 1908. 84 

Von Tirpitz, whom House insisted on seeing, was hardly 
polite to the Super-Ambassador. Bitterly hostile toward Britain, 
he ridiculed House's mission. Falkenhayn, von Jagow, Solf, and 
others were cynical. Unable to prevent the accredited personal 
representative of the President from seeing the Kaiser, they 
finally arranged the meeting on the occasion of the 
Schrippenfest, or the annual military festival, when the War 
Lord was wont to receive his chieftains, and representative 
privates of the army. It was the moment when William of 
Hohenzollern was proudest of his own power, least apt to be 
influenced by fears of the Socialists and the Yellow Race. 

He had been carefully drilled. After lunch he took House to 
the terrace. There, amidst the gallant military display, carefully 
watched by his principal generals, and hardly out of their 
hearing, he cleverly threw House on the defense at once by an 
harangue on the "Yellow Peril." Was America actually 
contemplating rendering herself defenseless against Japan? Of 
course not. No more was Germany going to disarm, with 
175,000,000 Slavs and revolutionaries radically threatening her 
eastern borders ! The idea was absurd. Contemptuous of Britain 
and France, he laughed at Bryan and his treaties. House hardly 
got in a word edgewise. Finally, the Kaiser said: 

"The last thing that Germany wants is war. We are getting 
to be a great commercial country. In a few years, Germany will 
be a rich country, like England and the United States. We don't 
want a war to interfere with our progress. 

"Every nation in Europe," he added, "has its bayonets 
pointed at Germany. But — " — and with this he gave a proud 
and smiling glance at the glistening representatives of his army 
gathered on this brilliant occasion — "we are ready!" 

House had been outwitted. He had failed, and failed 
miserably, in his effort to trick the Kaiser. He was dismissed 
with the understanding that he was to visit Paris 


and London, and communicate direct to the Kaiser anything he 
might learn in those quarters concerning a peace compatible 
with Germany's interest. 

Leaving Berlin at once, he found it useless to tarry in Paris. 
The trial of Madame Caillaux was in progress. There had been 
three French ministries in two weeks. With Caillaux's and Bola 
Pasha's alleged plot to betray France to Germany being aired, 
there was little thought of disarmament among the French. So 
he hurried to London to confer with Sir Edward Grey, and to be 
there when Congress took final action on the Panama Act. 

Now, despite the fact that nothing had been accomplished by 
House and Wilson in the way of forcing democratic reforms 
upon the Czar, they saw the necessity of being represented at 
the Czar's court, should war come. One result of House's visit to 
Berlin was the appointment by Wilson on June gth of George T. 
Marye as Ambassador to Russia, with instructions to proceed to 
St. Petersburg at once. He was to spare no effort to negotiate a 
new commercial treaty that would be acceptable to both the 
Czar and the American Jews. In the nature of things, this was 
virtually impossible. The settlement of the Russian Jewish 
problem from the outside was as unlikely as the settlement by 
Europe of the Japanese problem in California, or the problem of 
the Fifteenth Amendment in the South. 150 

Meantime Anglophobia had run its course in America. After 
the Congressional Record had been filled with denunciations of 
Great Britain, Senators Root, Burton, Lodge, Kenyon, 
McCumber, all Republicans, succeeded in overcoming the 
Democratic opposition led by Senators O'Gorman, 
Chamberlain, Vardeman and Reed. Passed in the Senate by a 
vote of 50 to 35, the new Panama Tolls Act was passed by the 
House on June 15th with a vote of 216 to 71, which showed 
only too plainly how much anti-British Democratic politics had 
been played in the first instance. Wilson promptly signed the 
bill, "and the honor of the country was retrieved." 

London was overjoyed. Page and House were lionized. 
Never had American prestige stood so high in Britain. 


The King and the Prime Minister were especially affected by 
the fair-dealing of Congress. The slight commercial advantage 
which Great Britain had obtained, was not the thought that was 
uppermost in their minds. The thing that really moved them 
was the fact that something new had appeared in the history of 
legislative chambers. A great nation had committed an 
outrageous wrong. This had happened many times before. The 
unprecedented thing was that this same nation had exposed its 
fault boldlv to the world — had lifted up its hands and cried, 
"We have sinned!" and had then publicly undone its error. The 
general feeling was perhaps best expressed by the remark 

made to Mrs. Page, by Lady D : "The United States has 

set a high standard for all nations to live up to. I don't believe 
that there is any other nation that would have done it." 

Commenting upon the action of the United States in the 
House of Commons, Sir Edward Grey said: "It has not been 
done to please us, or in the interest of good relations, but I 
believe from a much greater motive — the feeling that a 
government which is to use its influence among nations to 
make relations better, must never, when the occasion arises, 
flinch or quail from interpreting treaty rights in a strictly fair 
spirit. " 

The German war party witnessed the Anglo-American 
jubilation with alarm. They saw now that Japan was definitely 
out of their calculations, that public opinion was isolating them, 
exciting a powerful effect upon the Social-' ists, and, through 
them, upon the Kaiser. Straightway, therefore, measures to 
prevent their own overthrow were considered. House had been 
pumped of all he had to say. Upon his departure, they had had 
no doubts as to the Anglo-American scheme. They must act, 
and act quickly, if at all. The peacemakers were actually forcing 
them to strike! 

Such was the situation which the Internationalists had 
brought about, when the protocols between Mexico and the 
United States, negotiated by the ABC Powers at Niagara, were 
executed on June 23, 1914. In them, the United 


States agreed that the selection of a provisional and consti- 
tutional President should be left wholly to the Mexicans, and 
guaranteed the recognition of those chosen. This was, of course, 
insisted upon by the Latin-Americans, in order to prevent 
further interference on the part of Wilson and Bryan. The 
United States also agreed to claim no war indemnity or other 
international satisfaction from Mexico on account of the 
fighting at Vera Cruz, which port was to be evacuated as 
quickly as possible. "Thus," says Lane, "we made clear our 
desire not to interfere in any way in the settlement of Mexico's 
domestic troubles. . . . We had gone to Vera Cruz 'to serve 
mankind.' Our quarrel was with Huerta...." 

Despite Lane's propaganda, however, the signing of these 
protocols constituted an admission that the President and Bryan 
had erred in undertaking, in May, 1913, to interfere with the 
selection of a President through the elimination of Huerta. 
Nevertheless, they had at last succeeded in making it impossible 
for him to remain in office. The pressure brought to bear on the 
Mexicans of all parties by their Latin-American cousins as well 
as by the British, insured the abdication of Huerta on July 16, 
1914, in favor of Carranza. Thereupon orders were immediately 
issued by the War Department for the prompt evacuation of 
Vera Cruz. 

The Administration Press represented all this as a great 
victory for Wilson's Mexican policy, but the Mexicans had 
apparently no doubt that the choice of Carranza had been 
dictated indirectly by Wilson. Therefore, within three days after 
Huerta's abdication, Pancho Villa was in the field at the head of 
a large well armed force, with the avowed purpose of driving 
Carranza out of office. This, as a natural protest against Wilson, 
had the moral support of the country at large, so that, in the last 
analysis, Wilson's policy had not solved the Mexican problem 
but had, on the contrary, complicated it. 

The Germans, moreover, had no idea of letting the danger of 
Mexico to the United States pass away. Thus, although Villa 
agreed to meet Carranza in a peace confer- 


ence at Aguas Calientes, it being expressly stipulated that there 
should be no military escorts, now in the pay of German and 
possibly also Japanese agents, he arrived with an armed force 
that terrorized the convention and prevented recognition of 
Carranza, whereupon open warfare began anew. Villa was 
variously alleged to be on the payroll of both Japan and 
Germany. Scott nevertheless induced Villa to approve the 
Garfield-Rhoades plan to establish a composite government in 
Mexico. Neither the British nor Wilson would, through distrust 
of Villa, accept the plan which was, therefore, dropped. 
Fortunately, in the face of this new threat from Mexico, 
Garrison had, despite Bryan's opposition, authorized Wood to 
open four more officers training camps, so that 600 candidates 
were accepted for training at Plattsburg, Asheville, Ludington, 
and Monterey during July, 1914. 

Sensing that the Kaiser was bent on war, House urged Grey 
to visit him in person. Asquith, the Prime Minister, had been 
recently compelled to visit Paris to reassure the French, alarmed 
at House's efforts, that Great Britain was standing firmly behind 
them in their troubles, despite her proposals of a naval holiday. 
A visit by Grey to Germany might cause renewed consternation 
in France and Russia. Enough harm had been done by the 
peacemakers. Asquith openly reprobated Bryan and his treaties 
which, with the proceedings of Wilson and House, were held 
responsible for Germany's unrest, and the Kaiser's nervousness. 
The Kaiser, between two fires, was almost completely out of 
control. A choice on his part between the militarists and the 
Socialists seemed near at hand! 

Such was the situation, when a spark ignited the pile of 
combustible material heaped up during the past century in 
Europe. On June 28th, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to 
the Austro-Hungarian throne, was murdered by a Serb 
nationalist in Serajevo, chief city of Bosnia. Reaching London 
at the height of the Irish crisis and the feminist agitation, the 
news created, at first, little excitement. In Berlin, the danger of 
a political crisis was immediately discussed in the press. Grey 
soon discovered that the sanction 


of the German Government for any retaliatory and repressive 
measures that Vienna might chose to put into effect against 
Serbia, had been given to Austria. The British Government 
thereupon urged House, a private citizen, to intervene with the 
Kaiser to prevent a European conflict! Without waiting for 
authority from Wilson, he proceeded, in the emergency, to do 

"Colonel House to the President 

"London, July 3, 1914. 
"My dear Friend: — 

"... Tyrrell brought word to me today that Sir Edward Grey 
would like me to convey to the Kaiser the impression I have 
obtained from my several discussions with this Government, in 
regard to a better understanding between the nations of Europe, 
and to try and get a reply before I leave. Sir Edward said he did 
not wish to send anything official or in writing, for fear of 
offending French and Russian sensibilities in the event it should 
become known. He thought it was one of those things that had 
best be done informally and unofficially. 

"He also told Page that he had a long talk with the German 
Ambassador here in regard to the matter, and that he had sent 
messages by him directly to the Kaiser. 

"So you see things are moving in the right direction as rap- 
idly as we could hope. 

"Your faithful and affectionate, 

"E. M. HOUSE." 

"Colonel House to the Kaiser 

"American Embassy, 
"London, July 7, 1914. 
"His Imperial Majesty, 
"Emperor of Germany, King of Prussia, 
"Berlin, Germany. 

"Your Imperial Majesty will doubtless recall our conversa- 
tion at Potsdam and that, with the President's consent and ap- 
proval, I came to Europe for the purpose of ascertaining 
whether or not it was possible to bring about a better under- 
standing between the Great Powers, to the end that there might 
be a continuation of peace, and later a beneficent economic 
readjustment, which a lessening of armaments would ensure. 


"Because of the commanding position Your Majesty occu- 
pies, and because of your well-known desire to maintain peace, 
I came, as Your Majesty knows, directly to Berlin. 

"I can never forget the gracious acceptance of the general 
purpose of my mission, the masterly exposition of the world- 
wide political conditions as they exist today, and the prophetic 
forecast as to the future which Your Majesty then made. 

"I received every reasonable assurance of Your Majesty's 
cordial approval of the President's purpose, and I left Germany 
happy in the belief that Your Majesty's great influence would be 
thrown in behalf of peace and the broadening of the world's 

"In France I tried to reach the thoughts of her people in 
regard to Germany, and to find what hopes she nursed. My 
conclusion upon leaving was that her statesmen have given over 
all thoughts of revenge, or of recovery of the two lost 
provinces. Her people in general still have hoped in both 
directions, but her better-informed rulers would be quite content 
if France could be sure of her autonomy as it now exists. 

"It was then, Sir, that I came to England and with high 
hopes, in which I have not been disappointed. 

"I first approached Sir Edward Grey, and I found him sym- 
pathetic to the last degree. After a two hours' conference, we 
parted with the understanding that we should meet again within 
a few days. This I inferred to mean that he wished to consult 
with the Prime Minister and his colleagues. 

"At our next conference, which again lasted for two hours, 
he had, to meet me, the Lord Chancellor, Earl Crewe, and Sir 
William Tyrrell. Since then I have met the Prime Minister and 
practically every important member of the British Government, 
and I am convinced that they desire such an understanding as 
will lay the foundation for permanent peace and security. 

"England must necessarily move cautiously, lest she offend 
the sensibilities of France and Russia; but, with the changing 
sentiment in France, there should be a gradual improvement of 
relations between Germany and that country, which England 
will now be glad to foster. 

"While much has been accomplished, yet there is something 
still to be desired, in order that there may be a better medium 
created for an easy and frank exchange of thought and pur- 
poses. No one knows better than Your Majesty of the unusual 
ferment that is now going on throughout the world, and no one 
is in so fortunate a position to bring about a sane and reason- 


able understanding among the statesmen of the Western 
peoples, to the end that our civilization may continue 

"While this communication is, as Your Majesty knows, 
quite unofficial, yet it is written in sympathy with the well- 
known views of the President, and, I am given to understand, 
with the hope from His Britannic Majesty which may permit 
another step forward. 

"Permit me, Sir, to conclude by quoting a sentence from a 
letter which has come to me from the President: 

" 'Your letter from Paris, written just after coming from Ber- 
lin, gives me a thrill of deep pleasure. You have, I hope and 
believe, begun a great thing, and I rejoice with all my heart.' 

"I have the honor to be, Sir, with the greatest respect, Your 

"Very obedient servant, 

"Edward M. House. " 

"Thus," says Seymour, "was a last opportunity given to the 
Kaiser, who had the assurance of a disinterested outsider that, if 
Germany sincerely desired peace, she would have the active 
assistance of the United States and the cooperation of Great 

The day House's letter to the Kaiser was written, Gerard, 
who had been thoroughly deceived by the Wilhelm-strasse, 
wrote House a cheerful letter. The Kaiser was on his annual 
cruise in Norwegian waters. He, Gerard, had dined with him 
and von Tirpitz before the news of the Serajevo incident. "They 
were both most enthusiastic about you. . . . von Tirpitz thanked 
me for giving him the opportunity to meet you. . . . Berlin is as 
quiet as the grave. " 103 

The American Ambassador had been completely blinded by 
a little flattery. It was a sinister silence — this silence of the 

For a time House seemed unable to collect his thoughts, as 
visions of the impending catastrophe flitted through his mind. 
Those who saw him at this time, have painted the picture of him 
as one whose nerves were on edge, who jumped at the sound of 
sabers rattling in his ears. 99 ' 103 Did his conscience ever smite 
him, or his pride? Was he aware 


of the nature of the fiasco in which he had played a leading 
role? What had he and the other Internationalist peacemakers 
accomplished, with their suppression of truth and their 
attempted trickery? How well had they served mankind in 
leading Wilson to reenact the role of Alexander I? 

Sir Cecil Spring-Rice, the British Ambassador at Wash- 
ington, subsequently declared that House's visits back and forth 
to London and Berlin, had so alarmed the militarists of 
Germany, that they took advantage of the Kaiser's absence on 
his annual cruise in Norwegian waters, to project the strife in 
which they saw their only salvation. 103 

In a post-war interview at Dorn, the deposed Kaiser stated 
to Sylvester Viereck that House had come so near insuring 
peace as to provoke the war. By this he meant, of course, that in 
rousing the Socialists of Germany to prate of democracy and 
peace, the Internationalists had driven the militarists of 
Germany to strike for their own salvation. 

One must conclude from the evidence that the great evil in 
1914 was not soldiers, but professors and peacemakers who, by 
suppressing the truth and trying to introduce an internationalism 
involving interference with existing forms of government, had 
set nation against nation. Their elaborate trickeries brought on a 
world conflict which a simple, honest entente, frankly 
proclaimed between Britain and America, as urged by Page, 
could probably have prevented. 

If only Wilson had possessed the vision and the courage to 
say to the Kaiser in 1914, what Sims had said in 1912 — that, in 
the hour of common danger, America would stand by Britain, 
the Austrian Archduke would, in all probability, never have 
been assassinated. 

But for the President, at this zero hour of the old order, let 
us have only compassion. Well might he have cried: "Save me 
from my friends! For how, between Bryan and the Pacifists, 
House and the Internationalists, can I effectively serve 

According to Shakespeare, "in sweet music is such art, 
killing care and grief of heart fall asleep, or hearing die. 


In these words is material for a diagnosis of the psychology of 
Wilson. Was it not the "sweet music" of his false advisers, 
chanting always of the world dictatorship they insisted it was 
his duty to achieve, that lulled to sleep his sense of the realities? 


Part III 




(August 1, 1914— April 6, 1917) 


Austria-Hungary Declares War on Serbia. Herrick and 
Bryan Urge Mediation upon Wilson. Obedient to the 
Counsel of the Internationalists, Wilson Resorts to a 
Subterfuge. "Europe at Armageddon." Harvey, Eliot, and 
Herrick. Bernstorff and Gerard. 

BACK IN 1905, Dr. Sergei Nilus had begun to circulate the 
alleged "Protocols" of the Zionist Elders. A copy of his 
work embodying these protocols, may be found in the 
British Museum. That they are forgeries has, on the evidence of 
numerous scholars, been long since generally admitted. They 
had sounded a call to revolution in all the capitalist states, and 
had given encouragement to radicals everywhere. The program 
of Philip Dm, as outlined by House, bears such a striking 
resemblance to the proposals in the protocols, that no one 
familiar with both, can fail to wonder if House had conferred 
with Nilus and his associates, while visiting Moscow and other 
European capitals during the summer of 1912, when Philip Dm: 
Administrator was being completed by its author, in 
collaboration with his brother-in-law, Dr. Mezes, Houston, and 
others. We also find Wilson's whole theory as to racial 
minorities, later to form so important a part of his post-war 
program, dealt with in great detail in the protocols.* 

Dark clouds now hung over Russia. In the Balkan Wars of 
1912-1913, lay the germs of the inevitable conflict between 
Russia and the Dual Monarchy. The Austrian ultimatum to 
Serbia brought their relations to an acute 

* Waters Flowing Eastward, L. Fry. Edition R.I.S.S., Paris, 
1933. The Protocols are also dealt with in Protocols of the 
Meetings of the Learned Elders of Zion (London. Britain's 
Publishing Society, 40 Great Ormond St., W.C.I. L1925). 


crisis. At the same time, encouraged, perhaps, by German 
agents, the Communists were responsible for the fanning of the 
revolutionary spirit. 27a ' 37a ' 43J19a Strikes in St. Petersburg and 
Moscow threatened to paralyze the Government. The Protocols 
published by Nilus were also having their effect. 

According to Paleologue, the French Ambassador to Russia, 
who may, however, have been wrong, the Czar now began to 
look on war with the Central Powers as not only unavoidable, 
but as a possible means of averting the threatening revolution at 

a q \ r \n i /CO i of. 

home. ' ' ' When the first orders for mobilization were 
issued, a great wave of patriotism swept over the country, and 
the Internationale was drowned for the moment by the National 
anthem. The Wilhelm-strasse was fully informed. Before 
House's departure from England, both Marburg and Grey saw 
that war was unavoidable. Myron T. Herrick, Ambassador to 
France, who, perhaps at Marburg's suggestion, had not yet been 
replaced by William H. Sharp, the new Democratic appointee, 
instantly cabled Bryan that the long expected war was at hand. 
Was there nothing more that could be done to deter the Kaiser? 
He felt that an offer of mediation by Wilson might have a good 
effect. 156 

Mediation was not what the Internationalists wanted. The 
evidence of this is conclusive. Whether or not Spring-Rice was 
correct in his belief that Marburg and the Internationalists had 
brought on the war, certain it is they proposed to "make hay" 
out of it. As they saw it, even the war itself would afford the 
United States a golden opportunity to serve humanity. Were not 
House's negotiations with the Kaiser and the Diplomats of 
Germany, together with the reactionary attitude of Russia, 
conclusive evidence that there was no chance of establishing 
world peace upon a firm foundation until both Russia and 
Germany had learned, once and for all, the futility of 
militarism? Then only would they be likely to accept those 
democratic principles which the Internationalists had been 
seeking to make the whole world accept. 

William H. Short, Secretary of the New York Peace So- 


ciety, has recorded that "an American Statesman, perhaps the 
leading authority in this country on international affairs," 
declared, in his presence, during the first week of August, 1914, 
that it was the duty of all friends of civilization clearly to 
understand and to teach the lessons which were to be drawn 
from the conflict in which Europe had become involved. 41 This 
refers, of course, to Marburg, who was shortly to expose to 
Short, the scheme which he and the inner circle of the 
Internationalists had all along had in mind. 

Marburg's arguments were subtle. The diplomatic 
negotiations following the great wars of the past, had shown the 
democracies of the world without a voice in the making of 
peace. No more would they at the end of the present strife, 
unless the principles which they cherished were definitely 
formulated, unless they were organized in advance in a way that 
would enable them to make their influence at the peace table 
decisive. Therefore, he insisted, it was America's part to hold 
aloof from the strife at all costs, while this organization was 
being effected, so that when the belligerents had fought 
themselves into a more reasonable state of mind, Wilson might, 
with the tremendous and unimpaired economic power of 
America behind him, dictate the terms of peace, and bring about 
the formation of a league of nations that would preserve it in the 
future. 41 These arguments had long since been stated to Wilson 
by House and Dodge. 

According to Herrick, his cablegram was never brought to 
the attention of Wilson, who subsequently denied having seen 
it. 158 A few hours after receipt of the despatch, Bryan, 
nevertheless, cabled Page, asking if there was any likelihood 
that the good offices of the United States, if offered pursuant to 
Article 3 of the Hague Convention, would serve any "high 
purpose in the present crisis." A bill was, at the same time, 
introduced in Congress, providing for the admission to 
American registry of foreign built vessels. 

House had, until now, remained strangely silent. The 
explanation is plain. He had been awaiting the reply of the 
Kaiser. Upon learning of Bryan's purpose, he un- 


doubtedly communicated with Grey at once, for, despite all 
Bryan could do, no answer came from Page. 

Knowing Bryan's peculiarly anti-British mentality, House 
now addressed the President by letter for the first time since his 

"Pride's Crossing, Massachusetts. "July 31, 1914. "DEAR 
Governor: — 

"When I was in Germany, it seemed clear to me that the 
situation as far as a continuation of peace was concerned, was in 
a very precarious condition; and you will recall my first letter to 
you telling of the high tension that Germany and southern 
Europe were under. 

"I tried to convey this feeling to Sir Edward Grey and other 
members of the British Government. They seemed astonished at 
my pessimistic view, and thought that conditions were better 
than they had been for a long time. While I shook their con- 
fidence, at the same time I did not do it sufficiently to make 
them feel that quick action was necessary; consequently they let 
matters drag until after the Kaiser had gone into Norwegian 
waters for his vacation, before giving me any definite word to 
send to him. 

"It was my purpose to go back to Germany and see the Em- 
peror, but the conservative delay of Sir Edward and his con- 
ferees made that impossible. 

"The night before I sailed, Sir Edward sent me word that he 
was worried over conditions, but he did not anticipate what has 
followed. I have a feeling that if a general war is finally averted, 
it will be because of the better feeling that has been brought 
about between England and Germany. England is exerting a 
restraining hand upon France and, as far as possible, upon 
Russia; but her influence with the latter is slight. 

"If the matter could have been pushed a little further, Ger- 
many would have laid a heavy hand upon Austria, and possibly 
peace could have been continued until a better understanding 
could have been brought about. 

"Russia has a feeling, so I was told in England, that Ger- 
many was trying to project Austrian and German influence deep 
into the Balkan States in order to check her. She has evidently 
been preparing for some decisive action since the Kaiser threw 
several hundred thousand German troops on his 


eastern frontier two years ago, thereby compelling Russia to 
relinquish the demands that she had made in regard to a settle- 
ment of Balkan matters. . . . 

"Your faithful and affectionate, 

"E. M. HOUSE." 

The following day came an answer to his letter to the 
Kaiser, from the Wilhelmstrasse via Bernstorff. 

"Berlin, August i, 1914. 
"My dear Colonel: — 

"I beg to inform you that I laid the letter which you ad- 
dressed to His Majesty the Emperor from London before His 
Majesty. I am directed to convey to you His Majesty's sincere 

"The Emperor took note of its contents with the greatest 
interest. Alas, all His strong and sincere efforts to conserve 
peace have entirely failed. I am afraid that Russia's procedure 
will force the old world and especially my country in the most 
terrible war! There is no chance now to lay the foundation for 
permanent peace and security. 

"With assurances of my high regard, I remain, my dear 

"Sincerely yours, 


Thus did the German Government delay committing itself 
one way or the other to House's proposal to the Kaiser, until the 
latter had cast the die for war. It was now time for House to 
advise Wilson as to Carnegie's and Marburg's desires, and to 
warn him against letting Bryan try to stop the war. 

"Pride's Crossing, Massachusetts. "August 1, 1914. "DEAR 
Governor: — 

"There are one or two things that would perhaps be of 
interest to you at this time, and which I shall tell you now, and 
not wait until I see you. 

"Sir Edward Grey told me that England had no written 
agreement with either Russia or France, or any formal alliance; 
that the situation was brought about by a mutual desire for 
protection, and that they discussed international matters with 


as much freedom with one another as if they had an actual 
written alliance. . . . 

"The great danger is, that some overt act may occur which 
will get the situation out of control. Germany is exceedingly 
nervous and at high tension, and she knows that her best chance 
of success is to strike quickly and hard; therefore her very alarm 
might cause her to precipitate action as a means of safety. 

"Please let me suggest that you do not let Mr. Bryan make 
any overtures to any of the Powers involved. They look upon 
him as absolutely visionary, and it would lessen the weight of 
your influence if you desire to use it yourself later. 

"If I thought I could last through the heat, I would go to 
Washington to see you; but I am afraid if I reached there, I 
would be utterly helpless. I wish you could get time to take the 
Mayflower and cruise for a few days in these waters so that I 
might join you. 

"Your faithful and affectionate, 

"E. M. HOUSE." 

Two days after Zimmerman's letter to House, Germany 
officially instituted war upon Russia and France, and the 
invasion of Belgium commenced. On the night of August 3rd 
word came at last from Page, advising against an offer of 
mediation by Wilson, since this was not wanted by the Allies. 
The truth is, of course, that without feeling the least doubt of 
their ability to crush the Pan-Germans, they wished to bring to 
an end forever, the threat under which Europe had lived since 
the days of Bismarck. 

"It is all a bad business," wrote House to Page, "and just 
think how near we came to making such a catastrophe 
impossible ! If England had moved a little faster, and had let me 
go back to Germany, the thing perhaps, would have been done." 

What House said to Page meant no more than this — the 
stupidity of another had cheated Wilson and himself of the 
credit for establishing universal peace. This he must have said 
to Wilson over and over, notwithstanding its manifest 

Page, whose business it was to keep Wilson advised, 
though his influence had been destroyed by House, had no 
illusions about the near advent of a reign of universal 


peace. In reply to House's lament over the refusal of Sir 
Edward Grey to visit Germany, which he claimed had caused 
the failure of the "Great Adventure," Page replied: 

"No, no, no — no power on earth could have prevented it. 
The German militarism, which is the crime of the last fifty 
years, has been working for this for twenty-five years. It is the 
logical result of their spirit and enterprise and doctrine. It had to 
come. But, of course, they chose the wrong time and the wrong 
issue. Militarism has no judgment. Don't let your conscience be 
worried. You did all that any mortal man could do. But nobody 
could have done anything effective. We've got to see to it that 
this system doesn't grow up again. That's all." * " 

At the same time Page issued a statement to the press in 

"One thing I want to make clear, that a great many people 
have talked to me about. Many seem to have the impression 
that the United States missed a great opportunity. The United 
States did everything possible to avert war. If ever a job was 
done right up to the hilt, it was that." 

Like Grey and British statesmen generally, Page had not the 
least doubt that, with the aid of American supplies and 
munitions, the Triple Entente would speedily crush the Pan- 
Germans. Moreover, he was strongly under the influence of 
Grey. Therefore, cooperating with Grey and unaware that he 
was abetting the Internationalist scheme, he desired to keep the 
United States neutral. In a memorandum of August 2, 1914, his 
views are fully recorded. 

"It will revive our shipping. In a jiffy, under stress of a 
general European war, the United States Senate passed a bill 
permitting American registry to ships built abroad. Thus a real 
emergency knocked the old Protectionists out, who had held on 
for fifty years! Correspondingly the political parties here have 
agreed to suspend their Home Rule quarrel till this war is 
ended. Artificial structures fall when a real wind blows. 

"The United States is the only great Power wholly out of it. 

* House omits this letter from his compilation. It negatives 
the idea 'hat the Great Adventure was a near-success. 


The United States, most likely, therefore, will be able to play a 
helpful and historic part at its end. It will give President Wil- 
son, no doubt, a great opportunity. It will probably help us 
politically and it will surely help us economically." 

By this time, the real evil of House's influence was vaguely 
sensed by others, who were now branding him not only a 
harmful counsellor, but a sinister one. By some he was still said 
to be a mere "errand boy," but there were others who believed 
the "man of mystery," "the Texas Sphinx," had exercised a 
malign influence over the President. 

Already House and Page had both advised Wilson against 
interference. Now House adroitly showed Wilson how he could 
meet the attacks being made upon him for his failure to prevent 
the war. Grey had caused Page to advise Wilson against 
interference, and House had also done that. 

"Pride's Crossing, Mass. "August 3, 1914. (Monday) 
"The President, 
"The White House, Washington, D. C. "DEAR GOVERNOR: — 

"Our people are deeply shocked at the enormity of this gen- 
eral European war, and I see here and there regret that you did 
not use your good offices in behalf of peace. 

"If this grows into criticism so as to become noticeable, I be- 
lieve every one would be pleased and proud that you had anti- 
cipated this worldwide horror, and had done all that was 
humanly possible to avert it. 

"The more terrible the war becomes, the greater credit it will 
be that you saw the trend of events long before it was seen by 
other statesmen of the world. 

"Yours very faithfully, 

"E. M. HOUSE." 

"P.S. The question might be asked why negotiations were only 
with Germany and England, and not with France and Russia. 
This, of course, was because it was thought that Germany 
would act for the Triple Alliance and England for the Triple 


The arrant flattery of this letter is apparent. Here, in effect, 
House was telling Wilson that he had foreseen a war when 
others were blind, notwithstanding the fact that Edward VII, 
Haldane, Lord Roberts, Churchill, Grey, Prince Lichnowsky, 
Marburg, and thousands of others had for years been trying to 
prevent the war, and even Page had but lately urged upon the 
President in vain, a plan by which this might have been 

While Wilson strolled from the executive offices to the 
White House on the night of August 4, 1917, a message reached 
him from the State Department that Great Britain had declared 
war on Germany. 

"Let us pray that Germany will not develop a von Moltke," 
was his only comment. ' 19 This alone would show that his heart 
was not with Germany, and that he was still fearful of the 

The situation in which he now found himself, was indeed a 
distressing one. Fearful of war, which he hated, conscious of his 
inability to cope with it, he had allowed Harvey and Page to 
overcome his better judgment, and to place him in the position 
of having to deal with a situation of which he knew that he had 
no understanding. In vain had he resorted to every conceivable 
means of averting such a situation. In preventing a war with 
Japan, he had succeeded. He had avoided war with Mexico, 
despite pressure which had, at times, seemed irresistible. He had 
even delegated full authority to House to do whatever could be 
done in the President's name, to prevent a war in Europe. But 
here was war in spite of all he had done! Despite Marburg's 
equanimity, he was genuinely alarmed. Therefore, on the 4th, 
he sent House the following telegram: 

"EDWARD M. HOUSE, Pride's Crossing, Mass. "Letter of third 
received. Do you think 1 could and should act now, and if so 

"Woodrow Wilson. " 

While Wilson was awaiting House's reply, Bryan set out to 
force his hand. Responsive to his pressure, the Senate 


passed, on the morning of the 5th, a resolution virtually 
demanding that Wilson tender his good offices to the bel- 

House acted quickly. Learning of the Senate Resolution, he 
replied, on the evening of the 5th, to Wilson's telegram. 

"The President, 

"The White House, Washington, D. C. 

"Olney and I agree that, in response to the Senate resolution 
it would be unwise to tender your good offices at this time. We 
believe it would lessen your influence when the proper moment 
arrives. He thinks it advisable that you make a direct or indirect 
statement to the effect that you have done what was humanly 
possible to compose the situation, before this crisis had been 
reached. He thinks this would satisfy the Senate resolution. The 
story might be told to the correspondents at Washington, and 
they might use the expression 'we have it from high authority.' 

"He agrees to my suggestion that nothing further should be 
done now, than to instruct our different ambassadors to inform 
the respective governments to whom they are accredited, that 
you stand ready to tender your good offices whenever such an 
offer is desired. 

"Olney agrees with me that the shipping bill is full of lurk- 
ing dangers. 

"E. M. HOUSE." 

So Olney, too, is now in the great conspiracy! At any rate, 
between the will of the Senate, and the views of Olney and 
House which concurred with those of Root and Marburg, 
Wilson resorted to the subterfuge proposed as the means to 
outwit Bryan, and addressed the rulers of all the belligerent 
powers in notes similar to the following to King George: 


"As official head of one of the Powers signatory to the 
Hague Convention, I feel it to be my privilege and my duty 
under Article 3 of that Convention, to say to your Majesty, in a 
spirit of most earnest friendship, that I should welcome an 
oppor-tunity to act in the interest of European peace, either now 


at any time that might be thought more suitable as an occasion, 
to serve your Majesty and all concerned in a way that would 
afford me lasting cause for gratitude and happiness. 

"Woodrow Wilson. " 

This, of course, was not mediation, but a mere expression of 
the President's willingness to mediate at any time that such a 
tender from him, would, in the opinion of the warring Powers, 
serve the cause of peace. In other words, he ignored the wishes 
of the Senate in obedience to the Internationalists. 

Again the purpose of Wilson and House is clear. House had, 
on August 6th, gone on record that it would be "clearly to the 
interest of England, America, and civilization" to prevent 
France and Russia from rending Germany in twain, should the 
Central Allies be defeated. This was a fundamental principle of 
Marburg's scheme. 

It was an unfortunate circumstance that, during the crisis, on 
August 6th, Mrs. Wilson died, as the result of an injury 
sustained from a fall in the White House.* "Although," says 
Lawrence, "the physicians had anticipated that the illness would 
be fatal, Mr. Wilson did not know, until a few days before her 
death came, that he would be deprived of his life companion." 
The loss undoubtedly had a profound influence on the 
President's mind at this time. 

The American note was received while the Germans were 
actually committing the international crime of the premeditated 
invasion and seizure of a neutral state. Therefore, although King 
George especially was appreciative, and they were all mindful 
of Wilson's personal grief, none of the Powers requested 

In the peculiar situation described, Bryan found more than 
ordinary freedom of action. The shipping interests had already 
called upon the Government to inform them what might be 
expected of the "Mistress of the Seas." 

*It is a strange coincidence that the second Mrs. Wilson fell 
in the same place, and that Mrs. Hoover also fell there in 
1930, and sustained an injury. 


Bryan was, of course, interested in serving the cause of peace, 
and he had, from the first, no doubt that this must be done by 
preserving the neutrality of the United States. Therefore, acting 
on behalf of the President, he directed Page, on August 6th — the 
very day Mrs. Wilson died — to enquire whether the British 
Government would agree that the laws of naval warfare, as laid 
down by the Declaration of London of 1909, should be 
applicable during the present conflict. Page was, moreover, to 
express the view that "an acceptance of these laws by the 
belligerents, would prevent grave misunderstanding that may 
arise as to the relations between neutral forces and the 

The British Admiralty was fully aware of the advantage 
Germany had gained by the extension of her seaboard through 
the seizure of Belgium. Yet not even the keen eyed diplomats 
and international jurists who sat in judgment upon events, 
seemed to grasp exactly, either now or later, what the 
peculiarity of that advantage was. 

By the seizure of Belgium, Germany at once assumed a 
position dissimilar to that of any belligerent of the past. In 
effect, she had, by this step, advanced her maritime boundary 
beyond two other helpless small countries — Denmark and 
Holland — which Germany was thereby able to seize, should 
that prove expedient. Nor did they fail to know that this was 
within the contemplation of Germany. These countries, 
therefore, constituted neutral territory in name only. Obviously 
the extension of Germany's seaboard to the shores of Belgium, 
brought Holland and Denmark and the eastern part of the North 
Sea almost as much under the dominance of Germany's joint 
military and naval power, as if they, too, had actually been 

This being the situation, it was useless from the first to 
expect "The Mistress of the Seas" to apply to neutral trade with 
Holland and the Scandinavian countries, the rules designed to 
protect commerce that was neutral in fact as well as in name. 
The proof that this was both unreasonable and impractical is to 
be found in the fact that, despite persistent efforts on the part of 
America to compel Britain and France to do this to their own 
utter disadvantage and 


the tremendous advantage of Germany, after the United States 
had finally cast her lot with the Allies, no more corn-hints about 
their virtual blockade of this nominally neutral territory were 
heard. Once united with the allied fleets, the American naval 
force in European waters was to be jointly employed to enforce 
the restrictions against which the United States had been 
complaining bitterly during three years of neutrality. 

Had the British Government clearly pointed out the true 
situation, it would probably have avoided much trouble. But, 
strange as it may seem, it merely replied to the President's 
enquiry that "generally the rules of the Declaration (of London) 
subject to certain modifications" would be applied by Britain. 
This was itself a warning. 

Harvey now published in The North American Review, with 
prescient conceptions of the invasion of Belgium, his famous 
article Europe at Armageddon, by which the better moral 
perceptions of the country were crystallized. As declared by 
Senator William E. Borah, humanity was at the crossroads! 
What now should Wilson do? Having heard from Gerard that he 
was to be received by the Kaiser on the 10th to present the 
American note, and having long since made up his mind, it was 
easy to persuade Bryan that nothing more could be done until 
Gerard had rendered a report. 

Extraordinary as it may seem, Roosevelt, in this emergency, 
kept silent. He knew that Bryan, the Pacifists, and 
Internationalists together, had long since created the popular 
impression that "the Cow-Boy President" and "Hero of San 
Juan" was a dangerous firebrand. Moreover, Harvey had said all 
that there was to say. 

Harvey was, nevertheless, not to go unsupported. There was 
tendered to Wilson, on the 9th, what was, perhaps, the best 
counsel he received from any source in the great emergency of 
1914. Oddly enough it came from the venerable President 
Emeritus of Harvard, to whom he had offered the 
Ambassadorship to Great Britain — now the most vital of all 
foreign posts. 

Up to this point, Eliot had, as an active director of the 


Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, approved 
Marburg's plan for establishing world peace; but he was no 
longer in accord with Marburg. In a letter of transmittal, he 
explained that, hesitating to proffer advice, he had delayed 
sending the following letter: 

"Asticou, Maine, 

"August 6, 1914. 
"Dear President Wilson: — 

"Has not the United States an opportunity at this moment to 
propose a combination of the British Empire, the United States, 
France, Japan, Italy, and Russia, in offensive and defensive 
alliance, to rebuke and punish Austria-Hungary and Germany 
for the outrages they are now committing, by enforcing against 
two countries non-intercourse with the rest of the world by land 
and sea? These two Powers have now shown that they are 
utterly untrustworthy neighbors, and military bullies of the 
worst sort — Germany being far the worse of the two, because 
she has already violated neutral territory. 

"If they are allowed to succeed in their present enterprises, 
the fear of sudden invasion will constantly hang over all the 
other European peoples; and the increasing burdens of com- 
petitive armaments will have to be borne for another forty 
years. We shall inevitably share in these losses and miseries. 
The cost of maintaining immense armaments prevents all the 
great Powers from spending the money they ought to spend on 
improving the condition of the people, and promoting the prog- 
ress of the world in health, human freedom, and industrial 

"In this cause, and under the changed conditions, would not 
the people of the United States approve of the abandonment of 
Washington's advice that this country keep out of European 

"A blockade of Germany and Austria-Hungary could not be 
enforced with completeness; but it could be enforced both by 
sea and by land to such a degree that the industries of both 
peoples would be seriously crippled in a short time by the 
stoppage of both their exports and their imports. Certain tem- 
porary commercial advantages would be gained by the block- 
ading nations — a part of which might perhaps prove to be 

"This proposal would involve the taking part by our navy in 


the blockading process, and, therefore, might entail losses of 
both life and treasure; but the cause is worthy of heavy sacri- 
fices; and I am inclined to believe that our people would sup- 
port the Government in taking active part in such an effort to 
punish international crimes, and to promote future international 

"Is it feasible to open pourparlers by cable on this subject? 
The United States is clearly the best country to initiate such a 
proposal. In so doing, this country would be serving the general 
cause of peace, liberty, and good will among men. 

"This idea is not a wholly new one to me. The recent abom- 
inable acts of Austria-Hungary and Germany have brought to 
my mind again the passages on the 'Fear of Invasion,' and the 
'Exemption of Private Property from Capture at Sea,' which I 
wrote a year ago in my report to the Carnegie Endowment for 
International Peace, entitled Some Roads To Peace, pp. 16-17. 
The outrageous actions of the last fortnight have reenforced the 
statements I then made, and have suggested a new and graver 
application of the doctrines therein set forth. 

"I offer this suggestion in entire submission to your 
judgment as to its present feasibility and expediency. It seems 
to me an effective international police method, suited to the 
present crimes, and the probable issues of the future, and the 
more attractive because the European concert and the Triple 
Alliances have conspicuously failed. It, of course, involves the 
abandonment by all the European participants of every effort to 
extend national territory in Europe by force. The United States 
has recently abandoned that policy in America. It involves also 
the use of international force to overpower Austria-Hungary 
and Germany with all possible promptness and thoroughness; 
but this use of force is indispensable for the present protection 
of civilization against savagary, and for the future 
establishment and maintenance of federal relations and peace 
among the nations of Europe. 

"I am, with highest regard, 

"Sincerely yours, 

"Charles W.Eliot." 

Not only was this a complete confirmation of Harvey's 
position, but it was the farseeing counsel of a truly great 
humanist, whose statesmanship transcended both the quack-ery 
of a supine pacifism, and any idea that America should 


increase her own power by neutrality. It was not the voice of St. 
Pierre, or Kant, or Jefferson, or Bryan, or Taft, or Butler, or 
Marburg, but that of a great scholar and student of history who 
had not, while working for peace, allowed his mind to become 
befuddled by fancies. It was, in short the advice of a man facing 
realities, governed simply and solely by the principles of One 
whom he believed to be the wisest man who had ever lived. 
And that man was Jesus, the Christ, who had, in substance, 
proclaimed nineteen centuries before to those whom he came to 
save: What profiteth your wealth if your souls be lost? I came 
not on earth with peace, but a sword! 

While Wilson awaited word from Gerard, the "Apostle of 
Peace" sat at his elbow. No doubt could be left in Wilson's mind 
that Bryan's following of pacifists would oppose him if he led 
the country into war, but that they and the great peace societies 
would support him with their immense, far-reaching 
propaganda, if he adhered to a strictly neutral policy. He 
deemed Harvey and Eliot utterly deluded. True, Jesus came on 
Earth with a sword, but the sword he bore was not that of 
Michael! It was the sword of a great truth — that peace alone 
might set mankind free! It was the old self-serving, twisted 
interpretation which the pacifist mind had always put upon the 
indelible message written in the blood of Jesus — "Hoc Signo 
Vincit" — in truth alone shall man find salvation. 

Then came word from Page. After a graphic description of 
conditions in England, and the measures organized there for the 
relief of stranded Americans, he closed with the following 

"Six American preachers pass a resolution unanimously 
'urging our Ambassador to telegraph our beloved, peaceloving 
President to stop this awful war'; and they come with simple 
solemnity to present their resolution. Lord save us, what a 

"And this awful tragedy moves on to — what? We do not 
know what is really happening, so strict is the censorship. But it 
seems inevitable to me that Germany will be beaten, that the 
horrid period of Alliances and armaments will not come 


again, that England will gain even more of the earth's surface, 
that Russia may next play the menace; that all Europe (as much 
as survives) will be bankrupt; that relatively we shall be 
immensely stronger financially and politically — there must 
surely come many great changes — very many, yet undreamed 
of. Be ready! for you will be called on to compose this huge 
quarrel. I thank Heaven for many things — first, the Atlantic 
Ocean; second, that you refrained from war in Mexico; third, 
that we kept our treaty — the Canal Tolls victory; I mean. Now, 
when all this half of the world will suffer the unspeakable 
brutalization of war, we shall preserve our moral strength, our 
political powers, and our ideals. 

"God save us!" 

"The possible consequences stagger the imagination. Ger- 
many has staked everything on her ability to win primacy. 
England and France (to say nothing of Russia) really ought to 
give her a drubbing. If they do not, this side of the world will 
henceforth be German. If they do flog Germany, Germany will 
for a long time be in discredit. 

"I walked out in the night awhile ago. The stars are bright, 
the night is silent, the country quiet — as quiet as peace itself. 
Millions of men are in camp and on warships. Will they all 
have to fight and many of them die — to untangle this network 
of treaties and alliances, and to blow off huge debts with gun- 
powder, so that the world may start again?" 

Such counsel did not fail to fortify Wilson in his purpose. 
The British and French Governments did not want him to 
intervene. Nevertheless, there was, among the American 
residents in France, little thought of neutrality. When the 
younger men saw their French friends going off to the front, 
many of them were at once stirred by a desire not only to serve 
France, but to strike a blow for civilization. Accordingly 
numbers of them called at the Embassy for advice. 

They filed into my office," says Herrick, "with that 
timidity which frequently characterizes very courageous men, 
more afraid of seeming to show off than of any physical 
danger. They came to get my advice. They wanted to enlist in 
the French army. There were no protestations, no speeches; 
they merely wanted to fight, and they asked 


me if they had a right to do so, if it was legal. That moment 
remains impressed in my memory as though it had happened 
yesterday; it was one of the most trying in my whole official 
experience. I wanted to take those boys to my heart and cry, 
'God bless you! Go!' But I was held back from doing so by the 
fact that I was an ambassador. But I loved them, every one, as 
though they were my own. 

"I got out. the law on the duties of neutrals; I read it to 
them and explained its passages. I really tried not to do more, 
but it was no use. Those young eyes were searching mine, 
seeking, I am sure, the encouragement they had come in the 
hope of getting. It was more than flesh and blood could stand, 
and catching fire myself from their eagerness, I brought my fist 
down on the table saying, 'That is the law, boys; but if I was 
young and stood in your shoes, by God I know mighty well 
what I would do.' 

"At this they set up a regular shout, each gripped me by the 
hand, and then they went rushing down the stairs as though 
every minute was now too precious to be lost. They all 
proceeded straight to the Rue de Grenelle and took service in 
the Foreign Legion. Those were the first of our volunteers in 
the French army. They were followed by others, and, in a short 
time, a large group of them had enlisted." 

Yes, there was high romance even in this cataclysmic crisis 
of mankind, signalized by the swift uprising of youth. As the 
war drums boomed, deep and ominous, their echoes stirred the 
souls of men in every clime. Many a lad in America envied 
those who had enlisted in what Harvey and Eliot had felt to be 
the common cause of humanity. 

Bernstorff, who had left Washington for Germany on July 
7th, described what was going on there. 

"On the wonderful, still summer evening of the 1st of 
August, we heard across the Starnberger Lake, in all the 
surrounding villages, the muffled beat of drums announcing 
mobilization. The dark forebodings with which the sound of the 
drums filled me, have fixed that hour indelibly in my memory." 


"In the Wilhelmstrasse, I had interviews with the authorities, 
the substance of which was instructions to enlighten the 
Government and people of the United States on the German 
standpoint. In doing so, I was to avoid any appearance of 
aggression towards England, because an understanding with 
Great Britain had to be concluded as soon as possible. The 
Berlin view on the question of guilt was even then very much 
the same as has been set down in the memorandum of the 
commission of four of the 27th May, 1919, at Versailles, namely, 
that Russia was the originator of the war. 

"I was further informed at the Foreign Office that, besides 
some additions to the staff of the Washington Embassy, the 
former Secretary of State of the Colonial Office, Dr. Dernburg, 
and Privy Counsellor Albert, of the Ministry of the Interior, 
were to accompany me; the former as representative of the 
German Red Cross, the latter as agent of the 'Central 
Purchasing Company.' Dr. Dernburg's chief task, however, was 
to raise a loan in the United States, the proceeds of which were 
to pay for Herr Albert's purchases for the aforesaid company. 
For this purpose the Imperial Treasury supplied us with 
Treasury notes, which could only be made negotiable by my 

It is plain from this that the German Government had long 
planned to neutralize American public opinion through 
propaganda. 110 ' 167 

On August 10th, Gerard was received by the Kaiser. 

"I drove in a motor into the courtyard of the palace, and was 
there escorted to the door which opened on a flight of steps 
leading to a little garden about fifty yards square, directly on the 
embankment of the River Spree, which flows past the Royal 
Palace. As I went down the steps, the Empress and her only 
daughter, the Duchess of Brunswick, came up. Both stopped 
and shook hands with me, speaking a few words. I found the 
Emperor seated at a green iron table under a large canvas 
umbrella. Telegraph forms were scattered on the table in front 
of him, and, basking on the gravel, were two small dachshunds. 
I explained to the Emperor the object of my visit, and we 


had a general conversation about the war and the state of 
affairs. The Emperor took some of the large telegraph blanks 
and wrote out in pencil his reply to the President's offer. This 
reply, of course, I cabled immediately to the State Department." 

"For the President of the 

United States personally: — 

"10. VIII 14. 

" 1 . H. R. H. Prince Henry was received by his Majesty King 
George V in London, who empowered him to transmit to me 
verbally, that England would remain neutral if war broke out on 
the Continent involving Germany and France, Austria and 
Russia. This message was telegraphed to me by my brother 
from London after his conversation with H. M. the King, and 
repeated verbally on the twenty-ninth of July. 

"2. My Ambassador in London transmitted a message from 
Sir. E. Grey to Berlin saying that only in case France was likely 
to be crushed, would England interfere. 

"3. On the thirtieth my Ambassador in London reported that 
Sir Edward Grey, in course of a 'private' conversation, told him 
that, if the conflict remained localized between Russia — not 
Serbia — and Austria, England would not move, but if we 
'mixed' in the fray, she would take quick decisions and grave 
measures; i.e., if I left my ally Austria in the lurch to fight 
alone, England would not touch me. 

"4. This communication being directly counter to the King's 
message to me, I telegraphed to H. M. on the twenty-ninth or 
thirtieth, thanking him for kind messages through my brother 
and begging him to use all his power to keep France and Rus- 
sia — his Allies — from making any war-like preparations calcu- 
lated to disturb my work of mediation, stating that I was in 
constant communication with H. M. the Czar. In the evening 
the King kindly answered that he had ordered his Government 
to use every possible influence with his Allies to refrain from 
taking any provocative military measures. At the same time H. 
M. asked me if I would transmit to Vienna the British proposal 
that Austria was to take Belgrade and a few other Serbian towns 
and strip of country as a 'main-mise,' to make sure that the 
Serbian promises on paper should be fulfilled in reality-This 
proposal was, at the same moment, telegraphed to me from 
Vienna for London, quite in conjunction with the British 


proposal; besides, I had telegraphed to H. M. the Czar the same, 
as an idea of mine, before I received the two communica-tions 
from Vienna and London, both of the same opinion. 

"5. I immediately transmitted the telegrams vice versa to 
Vienna and London. I felt that I was able to tide matters over, 
and was happy at the peaceful outlook. 

"6. While I was preparing a note to H. M. the Czar the next 
morning, to inform him that Vienna, London and Berlin were 
agreed about the handling of affairs, I received a telephone 
message from H. E. the Chancellor that, during the night, the 
Czar had given orders to mobilize the whole Russian army, 
which was, of course, also meant against Germany; whereas till 
then, only the southern armies had been mobilized against 

"7. In a telegram from London, my Ambassador informed 
me he understood the British Government would guarantee 
neutrality of France, and wished to know whether Germany 
would refrain from attack. I telegraphed H. M. the King 
personally that mobilization, being already carried out, could 
not be stopped, but if H. M. could guarantee with his armed 
forces the neutrality of France, I would refrain from attacking 
her, leave her alone, and employ my troops elsewhere. H. M. 
answered that he thought my offer was based on a misunder- 
standing; and, as far as I can make out, Sir E. Grey never took 
my offer into serious consideration. He never answered it. 
Instead, he declared England had to defend Belgian neutrality, 
which had to be violated by Germany on strategical grounds, 
news having been received that France was already preparing to 
enter Belgium, and the King of the Belgians having refused my 
petition for a free passage, under guarantee of his country's 
freedom. I am most grateful for the President's message. 


"When the German Emperor in my presence indited his 
letter to President Wilson, he asked that I cable it immediately 
to the State Department, and that I simultaneously give it to the 
press. As I have already stated, I cabled the document 
immediately to the State Department at Washington, but I 
withheld it from publication. 

"My interview with the Emperor was in the morning. That 
afternoon a man holding a high position in Germany sent for 
me. I do not give his name, because I do not wish 


to involve him in any way with the Emperor, so I shall not even 
indicate whether he is a royalty or an official. He said: 

" 'You had an interview today with the Emperor. What 

"I told of the message given me for the President, which 
was intended for publication by the Emperor. He said: 

" 'I think you ought to show that message to me; you know 
the Emperor is a constitutional Emperor, and there was once a 
great row about such a message.' 

"I showed him the message, and, when he had read it, he 
said: 'I think it would be inadvisable for us to have this message 
published, in the interest of good feeling between Germany and 
America. If you cable it, ask that publication be withheld.' I 
complied with his request, and it is characteristic of the 
President's desire to preserve good relations, that publication 
was withheld. Now, when the two countries are at war; when 
the whole world, and especially our own country, has an 
interest in knowing how this great calamity of universal war 
came to the earth, the time has come when this message should 
be given out, and I have published it by permission. 

"This most interesting document in the first place clears up 
one issue never really obscure in the eyes of the world — the 
deliberate violation of the neutrality of Belgium, whose territory 
'had to be violated by Germany on strategical grounds.' The 
very weak excuse is added that 'news had been received that 
France was already preparing to enter Belgium,' — not even a 
pretense that there had ever been any actual violation of 
Belgium's frontier by the French, prior to the German invasion 
of that unfortunate country. Of course, the second excuse that 
the King of the Belgians had refused entrance to the Emperor's 
troops under guarantee of his country's freedom, is even weaker 
than the first. It would indeed inaugurate a new era in the 
intercourse of nations, if a small nation could only preserve its 
freedom by at all times, on request, granting free passage to the 
troops of a powerful neighbor, on the march to attack an 
adjoining country." 85 ' 151 



A New Moral Standard. Wilson Appeals for Neutrality in 
Thought as well as in Act. 

ENOUGH HAS BEEN SAID to show the influences brought to 
bear on Wilson in August, 1914 — House was but a 
spokesman for others. Page had, unintentionally, fortified 
Wilson in his purpose. Neutrality, coupled with a shipping bill, 
would revive America's commerce! It would not only preserve 
her political powers, but after a peace of exhaustion in Europe, 
would leave her stronger than ever. 30 It would help the country 
not only economically but politically, and at the same time 
afford the President a marvelous opportunity to serve as 
champion of humanity ! 

It would be much easier to say to mothers, pleading for 
peace: "Neutrality is our duty," than to call on them to prepare 
to make the "gold star" sacrifice. With his peculiar religious 
cast of mind, and his great ambition to serve, he succumbed, 
naturally enough, at this juncture, to the temptation which the 
Internationalists dangled before him. Neither his mental 
attitude, nor his reasoning, are matters of conjecture. 

"My earnest hope and fervent prayer," he told Tumulty, "is 
that America can withhold herself, remain out of this terrible 
mess, steer clear of European embroilments, and at the right 
time offer herself as the only mediating influence to bring about 
peace. We are the only great nation now free to do this. Think 
of the tragedy," he said. "I am not afraid to go to war. No man 
fit to be President of this nation, knowing the way its people 
would respond to any demand that might be made upon them, 
need have fears or doubts as to what stand it would 
finally take." 


Had he stopped here, there could still be room for doubt. 
But he continued: "What I fear more than anything else is the 
possibility of world bankruptcy that will inevitably follow our 
getting into this thing. Not only world chaos and bankruptcy, 
but all of the distempers, social, moral, and industrial, that will 
flow from this world cataclysm. No sane man, therefore, who 
knows the dangerous elements abroad in the world would, 
without feeling out every move, seek to lead his people, 
without counting the cost and dispassionately deliberating upon 
every move." 21 

The words might have been Marburg's. The world 
dictatorship Wilson craved, seemed at last within his grasp! 
Under the influence of Marburg's internationalism, he had put 
on the message of the Cross, an. interpretation agreeable to the 
ideals of International Finance. Not alone the soul of humanity, 
but the world's wealth as well, must be saved by peace ! 

When the neutrality of a state is proclaimed in international 
law, all that is implied is political and physical non- 
participation in strife.* But far more than this was essential to 
the purpose of the Internationalists. 

The Sociologists and Psychologists both know that blood is 
a strange thing, out of which come common emotions, if not 
common ideas. The popular attitude in this country toward the 
Central Allies, on the outbreak of hostilities, has been well 
described by Bernstorff, who had long expected the great 
majority of the American people to side with the Entente. 

"As a result of the violation of Belgian neutrality, this 
happened far in excess of expectation. The violent statements of 
the anti-German party called forth strong replies from those 
who desired a strict neutrality on the part of the United States. 
The adherents of the latter party were always stigmatized as 
pro-Germans, although even the German-Americans never 
called for anything more than an unconditional neutrality. This 
also was the aim for which the German policy was working 
through its representatives 

* Kriegsbrauch im Landkriege, 1902. 


in America. We never hoped for anything further. 'The waves 
of excitement ran so high that even the private rela-tions of the 
adherents of both parties contending suffered.' " 27 
Wilson, too, saw that the natural sympathies of the so-called 
Anglo-Saxon peoples of America for the Allies, invited the 
spread of the conflagration to America. True, the Irish, the 
Italians, Scandinavians, Germans, and Jews were not subject to 
British influence. Indeed, in the Irish and Germans, might be 
found an offset to it. But the whole fabric of American social 
and political life was, after all, knit with British influence. 
Therefore there was a real danger, to be promptly dealt with, to 
the present opportunity of the American people to become the 
world's dominant nation. And this he must show them in an ap- 
peal to the material side of their nature, cloaked in idealistic 
words. Of his purpose, Tumulty gives conclusive evidence. 

"It would have been a dramatic adventure," says Tumulty, 
"to accept Germany's assault on Belgium as a challenge to the 
humane interest of America, but the acceptance would have 
been only a gesture, for we were unable to transport armies to 
the theatre of war in time to check the outrage. Such action 
would have pleased some people in the East, but the President 
knew that this quixotic knight errantry would not appeal to the 
country at large, particularly the West, still strongly grounded in 
the Washingtonian tradition of non-interference in European 
quarrels. 215 

"I recall the day he prepared his neutrality proclamation. At 
the end of one of the most strenuous days of his life in 
Washington, he left the Executive offices where he was 
engaged in meeting and conferring with senators and 
congressmen, and I found him comfortably seated under an elm 
tree, serenely engaged with pad and pencil in preparing his 
neutrality proclamation, which was soon to loose a fierce storm 
of opposition and ridicule upon him. He and I had often 
discussed the war and its effect upon our own country, and one 
day in August, 1914, just after the 


Great War had begun, he said to me: 'We are going through 
deep waters in the days to come. The passions now lying 
dormant will soon be aroused, and my motives and purposes at 
every turn will soon be challenged, until there will be left but 
few friends to justify my course. It does not seem clear now, but 
as this war grows in intensity, it will soon resolve itself into a 
war between autocracy and democracy. Various racial groups in 
America will seek to lead us now one way and then another. We 
must sit steady in the boat and bow our heads to meet the 
storm.'" 215 

Knowing Bryan to be, like most Americans, opposed not 
only to Marburg's proposals, but to a league of nations as well, 
Wilson had been, from the first, careful to hold himself aloof 
from any negotiations with respect to a league, which might 
prejudice his reelection. Even though he had given House carte 
blanche to deal with foreign governments as to a league, he had 
avoided so carefully any written commitments, that House 
could be held alone responsible, even for those which had the 
secret sanction of the President. While Wilson prepared his 
appeal to the American people, House, on August 17th, 
addressed the following letter to Gerard: 

"Dear Judge: — 

"... The Kaiser has stood for peace all these years, and it 
would not be inconsistent with his past life and services to be 
willing now to consider such overtures. If peace could come at 
this hour, it would be upon the general proposition that every 
nation at war should be guaranteed its territorial integrity of 
today. Then a general plan of disarmament should be brought 
about, for there would be no need under such an arrangement 
for larger armies than were necessary for police purposes. 

"Of course, this matter would have to be handled very deli- 
cately; otherwise sensibilities might be offended. 

"As far as I am concerned, I would view with alarm and 
genuine regret any vital disaster to the German people. The 
only feeling in America that has been manifested against Ger- 
many, has not been directed against her as a nation, but merely 
against her as the embodiment of militarism. Our people have 
never admitted that excessive armaments were guarantees 


of peace, but they have felt, on the contrary, that in the end they 
meant just such conditions as exist today. When neighboring 
nations with racial differences and prejudices vie with one 
another in excessive armaments, it brings about a feeling of 
distrust which engenders a purpose to strike first and to 
strike hard. 

"With Europe disarmed, and with treaties guaranteeing one 
another's territorial integrity, she might go forward with every 
assurance of industrial expansion and permanent peace. 

"Faithfully yours, 

"E. M. HOUSE." 1(B 

Herrick was, at the same time, warned against his unneutral 
attitude, rumors of which had reached Washington. In the face 
of the evidence, it is plain that Wilson's deliberate purpose was 
to put an end to racial sympathies in America, and that the 
internationalistic principles of Marburg were foremost in his 
mind; that the "Washing-tonian tradition of non-interference in 
European quarrels" had nothing to do with the policy upon 
which he had decided, any more than it had dictated the "Grand 
Adventure," and Wilson's efforts to control the domestic affairs 
of Mexico. 

Wilson had promised twelve years before, that the "old 
humanities" were to be made "more human." Now, as President 
of the Republic which had long been fondly styled the "hope of 
humanity," he was indeed to set up a "new standard" of 
international morality to the Nation. He was to call upon it in a 
great appeal, to support the policy upon which he had decided: 

"My Fellow Countrymen: — 

"I suppose every thoughtful man in America has asked him- 
self, during these last troubled weeks, what influence the Euro- 
pean war may exert upon the United States, and I take the 
liberty of addressing a few words to you, in order to point out 
that it is entirely within our own choice what its effects upon us 
will be, and to urge very earnestly upon you the sort of speech 
and conduct which will best safeguard the Nation against 
distress and disaster. 

"The effect of the war upon the United States will depend 


upon what American citizens say and do. Every man who really 
loves America will act and speak in the true spirit of neutrality, 
which is the spirit of impartiality and fairness and friendliness 
to all concerned. The spirit of the Nation in this critical matter 
will be determined largely by what individuals and society and 
those gathered in public meetings do and say, upon what 
newspapers and magazines contain, upon what ministers utter 
in their pulpits, and men proclaim as their opinions on the 

"The people of the United States are drawn from many 
nations, and chiefly from the nations now at war. It is natural 
and inevitable that there should be the utmost variety of sym- 
pathy and desire among them with regard to the issues and 
circumstances of the conflict. Some will wish one nation, others 
another, to succeed in the momentous struggle. It will be easy 
to excite passion and difficult to allay it. Those responsible for 
exciting it will assume a heavy responsibility, responsibility for 
no less a thing than that the people of the United States, whose 
love of their country and whose loyalty to its Government 
should unite them as Americans all, bound in honor and 
affection to think first of her and her interests, may be divided 
in camps of hostile opinion, hot against each other, involved in 
the war itself in impulse and opinion if not in action. 

"Such divisions among us would be fatal to our peace of 
mind, and might seriously stand in the way of the proper per- 
formance of our duty as the one great nation at peace, the one 
people holding itself ready to play a part of impartial mediation, 
and speak the counsels of peace and accommodation, not as a 
partisan, but as a friend. 

"I venture, therefore, my fellow countrymen, to speak a sol- 
emn word of warning to you against that deepest, most subtle, 
most essential breach of neutrality which may spring out of 
partisanship, out of passionately taking sides. The United States 
must be neutral in fact, as well as in name, during these days 
that are to try men's souls. We must be impartial in thought as 
well as in action, must put a curb upon our sentiments as well as 
upon every transaction that might be construed as a preference 
of one party to the struggle before another. 

"My thought is of America. I am speaking, I feel sure, the 
earnest wishes and purpose of every thoughtful American that 
this great country of ours, which is, of course, the first in our 
thoughts and in our hearts, should show herself in this time of 


peculiar trial a Nation, fit beyond others to exhibit the fine poise 
of undisturbed judgment, the dignity of self-control, the 
efficiency of dispassionate action; a Nation that neither sits in 
judgment upon others, nor is disturbed in her own counsels, and 
which speaks herself fit and free to do what is honest, and 
disinterested, and truly serviceable, for the peace of the world. 
"Shall we not resolve to put upon ourselves the restraints which 
will bring to our people the happiness and the great and lasting 
influence for peace we covet for them?" 19 ° 

Loudly acclaimed by Bryan and his ilk, the novel phi- 
losophy here expressed, was pronounced by them to be 
humanism of the highest order. Verily, they declared, a new 
light has been shed upon the universe. Here at last was a great 
moral leader who, whatever might be the claims of the 
belligerents, was looking only to the ultimate welfare of 
mankind. Great, vital America, as the most powerful neutral in 
the world, was to ignore their quibblings by striking in her 
might for peace! 

It was indeed, eminently proper for America to assume the 
political attitude of a neutral state until her rights became 
involved. But how could there be any such thing as the duty of 
neutrality, regardless of the moral aspects of the strife? Jesus 
had declared that He came on earth not with peace but a sword. 
Even under the interpretation of Bryan that Jesus came with the 
sword of truth, the Saviour could not have intended that 
mankind should be neutral as between right and wrong. 

Both groups of belligerents had claimed that the struggle was 
no ordinary one, that great moral principles at issue demanded 
the support of world opinion. Both could not be right. Indeed, 
did not the very universality of European partisanship suggest 
that questions of moral right and wrong might be, in fact, 
involved? According to the pacifists themselves, an enlightened 
public opinion was the most effective deterrent to war. Wilson 
himself was soon to declare that "right public opinion is the 
mistress of the world." But if, in the emergency of a world-wide 
conflict, pacifism demanded neutrality of thought, how could 
public opinion become an influence for peace? 


Plainly, then, the welfare of mankind demanded that the 
judgment of neutral peoples be helped by the fullest possible 
information, to crystallize as quickly as possible against those 
actually responsible for the present awful catastrophe. 

Aside from the moralities, there was, moreover, the prac- 
tical situation in which neutral states like America found 
themselves, in the midst of a rapidly spreading conflagration. 
The pass to which things had come in Mexico, should have 
been sufficient to convince any intelligent mind that a unilateral 
will for peace cannot insure it, that practical considerations 
demand for a country, no less than for individuals, insurance 
and police protection against the spread of a great 
conflagration. After proclaiming the neutrality of the United 
States, it was the visible duty of the President, to call on the 
nation to defend its rights, which would have served also to 
render less likely the violation of the rights of weaker neutrals. 
We must conclude, therefore, that Wilson's appeal was not 
inspired by true humanism, since it ignored practical 
considerations while it also violated established ethical 

The very day of Wilson's appeal, Congress passed the Act 
admitting foreign-built vessels to American registry; in order 
that the country might reap the fullest benefit from its neutral 
position. Two days later, Wilson published a formal 
proclamation of neutrality. 

There were few persons who undertook, at the time, to 
analyze the moral principles underlying the President's 
glittering words. In the face of the claims and counter claims of 
the belligerents, and of aroused racial sympathies, the average 
American felt that it was too soon to determine the merits 
clearly. Until this could be done, neutrality seemed the sound 
policy. As for much of Wilson's language — they merely put it 
down to the thing called "humanitarian idealism," about which 
they had lately heard so much. Nor were men of acute moral 
discernment prone, in an hour of great moment, to pick the 
President's phrases to pieces; while many of his most bitter 
enemies were silenced in respect for his personal grief. 


Then, too, there was the influence of the American attitude 
toward Europe. Convinced that in the complete isolation of 
America lay its greater destiny, most Americans looked on 
neutrality as thoroughly in accord with the foreign policy laid 
down by Washington and Jefferson, the traditional policy of the 
United States. It was but evidence of their sanity, of the fact 
that, in a great emergency, the hard common sense of the 
American people might be relied on to override collectively all 
individual emotions. 

Nevertheless, there were those who, like Harvey, saw the 
emptiness of Wilson's rhetoric, and who put "neutrality of 
thought" down to politics, and nothing more. As they saw it, the 
President was appealing to the pacifist, Pro-German, and Anti- 
British sentiment of the country, as a matter of political 
expediency. In their judgment he was an arrant hypocrite. 

They were, of course, utterly mistaken. Wilson was no more 
a hypocrite than his Scotch Presbyterian ancestors, who 
believed with all sincerity that they were the chosen of God; no 
more than Torquemada who, in the name of the Almighty, 
resorted to torture as the means of saving the misguided despite 
themselves. Looked at in a narrow way, his apparent 
indifference to the moral principles involved in the war, and to 
the sufferings of the belligerents, seemed cruel, indeed 
indefensible. But the idea that he owed a higher duty to 
mankind as a whole, than to his own Nation, or any group of 
nations, had long since crystallized in Wilson's mind. He was 
not merely the President of the United States — he was the 
"champion of humanity," chosen of Providence. His duty, as he 
saw it, was to steel his heart to the present sufferings of the 
belligerents, in order to render that ultimate and higher service 
to humanity which he had been appointed by God to perform. 
The obvious sophistry required to conceal his real object, was, 
to his mind, wholly justifiable, since it was the only means to 
discharge his trust. If fault there were, it was with the world, not 
with him. 

The attitude of the Internationalists, and the arguments 


they employed in their dealings with Wilson, are still 
further disclosed by the statements of House: 

"Pride's Crossing, Massachusetts, "August 22, 1914. "DEAR 
Governor: — 

"Thinking that I might see you soon, has caused me to hope 
that I might tell you in person of how splendidly I think you are 
meeting the difficult situations that come to you day by day. 

"Your address on Neutrality is one of the finest things you 
have ever done, and it has met with universal appreciation. 
Every day editorials of the Republican press speak of you as if 
you were of their party, instead of being the idol of ours. 

"The food investigation, the shipping bill, the war risk in- 
surance bill, and everything else that you are doing, give the 
entire nation cause for constant congratulation that you are at 
the helm, and serving it as no other man could. 

"Of course the war continues to be a most disturbing and 
uncertain element. I am sorry that Japan injected herself into the 
general melee, for it will place an additional strain upon us not 
to become involved. 

"The saddest feature of the situation to me is that there is no 
good outcome to look forward to. If the Allies win, it means 
largely the domination of Russia on the Continent of Europe; 
and if Germany wins, it means the unspeakable tyranny of 
militarism for generations to come. 

"Fundamentally the Germans are playing a role that is 
against their natural instincts and inclinations, and it shows how 
perverted men may become by habit and environment. 
"Germany's success will ultimately mean trouble for us. We 
will have to abandon the path which you are blazing as a 
standard for future generations, with permanent peace as its 
goal, and a new international ethical code as its guiding star, 
and build up a military machine of vast proportions. "Your 
faithful and affectionate, 

"E. M. HOUSE." 

It is manifest from this letter that Root, Marburg, Taft, and 
other Republican Internationalists were cooperating actively 
with Wilson, and that they were little concerned with a choice 
between the Kaiser and the Czar, both representing militarism 
rampant. Eliot's position had, appar- 


ently not been acceptable to Root. At any rate, Eliot now 
amended his counsel. Accordingly he wrote Wilson, that he 
had, on further deliberation, concluded that the neutrality of 
America would, for the present, better serve the interests of 
humanity than intervention. 

While there was some criticism abroad of "neutrality in 
thought," its uncomplaining acceptance by the British, French 
and Russian people generally, is readily explicable by the fact 
that their governments did not then wish America to enter the 
war. Gloating over the apparent general approval of Wilson's 
appeal, Bryan was quick to cite it as a complete vindication of 
the Administration's pacific policy. 

Wilson was thus, a second time, misled by his advisers into 
divesting America of the power to champion the cause of 
humanity, and to save mankind an infinite amount of woe, in 
the world's greatest crisis. 



The German Propagandists Arrive. Varying Attitudes 
Toward the War. Wilson's Views. The Jones-Hobson 
Shipping Bill. Marburg Begins to Organize the Inter- 
nationalists. Wilson's Prayer for Peace. Page Urges Inter- 
vention. Complains about Bryan. British Propaganda 
Organized. The Hamburg-American Line and German 
Violations of Neutrality. The Belgian Commission. Rustem 
Bey Dismissed. Roosevelt Urges Continued Neutrality. 

COUNT BERNSTORFF and his company of German prop- 
agandists arrived in New York August 23, 1914. 
Bernstorff proceeded immediately to Washington to see 
Wilson. "He had taken the opportunity of the war and the death 
of his first wife," says the German Ambassador, "to withdraw 
even more than ever from the outer world. He was generally 
known as the recluse of the White House. He only received 
people with whom he had political business to settle. 
Particularly from diplomats and other foreigners Mr. Wilson 
kept much aloof, because he was anxious to avoid the 


appearance of preference or partiality." According to 
Bernstorff, Wilson made a statement about the policy of 
neutrality. "My reply that the American neutrality seemed to us 
tinged with sympathy for our enemies, Mr. Wilson contradicted 
emphatically. ... He thought that this appearance was the result 
of England's naval power, which he could do nothing to alter. In 
this connection, the President made the following remark, 
which struck me very forcibly at the time: 'The United States 
must remain neutral, because otherwise the fact that her popula- 
tion is drawn from so many European countries, would give rise 
to serious domestic difficulties.' " 


After declaring that Wilson's proclamation won the ap- 
proval of the overwhelming majority of the American people 
and that there were few, even among the supporters of the 
Entente, who desired active participation by the United States in 
August, 1914, the sagacious German continued: 'Apart from 
the fact that the traditional American policy seemed to preclude 
any such intervention in European affairs, it was to the interest 
of the United States to play, with unimpaired power, the role of 
Arbiter mundi, when the States of Ancient Europe, tired of 
tearing one another to pieces, at last longed for peace again. 
America could not but hope that neither of the two warring 
parties would come out of the war in a dominating position. " 

Thus it is evident that the Germans had not been deceived. 
No one has left a harsher estimate of Wilson than the wily 
German Ambassador, whose business it was to study him 
intensively. "In spite of his strong will and his autocratic 
leanings," he wrote at this time, "Mr. Wilson is still, in the first 
place, a perfect type of the American politician. In his speeches, 
he always tries to voice public opinion, and in his policy to 
follow its wishes. He certainly tries to direct and influence 
public opinion. But he changes his front at once, if he notices 
that he has strayed from the way that the aura popularis would 
have him follow. In order to form a correct judgment of Mr. 
Wilson's actions and speeches, it is always necessary to ask 
oneself, in the first place, what end he has in view for his own 
political position and that of his party in America. He proclaims 
in a most dazzling way the ideals of the American people. But 
their realization always depends on his own actual political 
interests and those of the Democratic party. Mr. Wilson's 
attitude has always been synonymous with that of his party, 
because the latter can produce no other personality capable of 
competing with the President. Therefore Mr. Wilson always met 
with little or no opposition within the Democratic party, and he 
was able to follow for a long time his own inclination to adopt a 
quite independent policy." 2 

Unfortunately it is not the truth that counts in the mat- 


ter of a man's prestige, but what people believe. The impression 
which Wilson made upon the diplomatic corps was also 
summed up by Count Bernstorff in a few words. "Socially," he 
said, "the President is very congenial, when once he has made 
up his mind to emerge from his narrow circle. He has not the 
reputation of being a loyal friend and is accused of ingratitude 
by many of his former colleagues and enthusiastic adherents. In 
any case, however, Mr. Wilson is an implacable enemy, when 
once he feels himself personally attacked or slighted. As a 
result of his sensitiveness, he has a strong tendency to make the 
mistake of regarding political difference of opinion as personal 

To gain the confidence of Wilson and Bryan, Bernstorff 
went so far as to deposit with the latter the code which he 
falsely declared would be used by his embassy. 109,244 He then set 
to work to organize the German propaganda. Until then, the 
Herald, Evening Telegram, Tribune, Times, Sun and Globe in 
New York had been relentlessly attacking Germany, while only 
the Evening Post and American had remained neutral. Outside 
New York, most of the press was openly pro-Entente. But when 
Dernburg had established the German Press Bureau in New 
York, the Hearst papers veered round, while the Staatszeitung 
and Fatherland, under the able direction of Sylvester Viereck, 
began to speak out boldly for Germany. At the same time, Cap- 
tains Boy-Ed and von Papen, the German naval and military 
attaches, cooperated valiantly with Dr. Albert to encourage the 
pro-Germans. In the face of this organized propaganda which 
became progressively more effective, American public opinion 
was left to form itself. Apparently the Administration believed 
it would help keep America neutral, and, therefore, tolerated it 
without complaint. 

Under date of August 28th, came word to House from 
Page — with whose advice the President's appeal had accorded 
exactly. "What a magnificent spectacle our country presents! 
We escape murder, we escape brutalization; we will have to 
settle it; we gain in every way." 


How strangely such language compared with that of Herrick. 
On the same day that Page wrote this almost inexplicable letter, 
Herrick sent Wilson a glowing account of the American 
volunteers in the French army. This elicited a prompt warning 
to adopt a neutral attitude. 156 

Although there was every reason why the overwhelming 
majority of Americans should have accepted the neutral course 
urged by Wilson as wise, the crash and the rumble of the war 
intrigued the interest of the Nation from the first. A flood of 
literature, much of it exaggerated and intemperately partisan, 
most of it uncritical, and some of it pure propaganda, had been 
quickly poured upon them. As is the way of our virile people, 
they took up with energy the task of trying to understand for 
themselves what the war was all about. 

They seized avidly on the popular writings of Cramb of 
England, Usher and Gibbons of America, and the like, then 
exhumed from the shelves of the libraries all the German books 
they could find, to look at the other side. Soon they had 
mastered facts enough to leave no doubts as to the origin of the 
conflict. Thinking readers discerned the deeper sources of the 
war in the highly developed Nationalism of the past century — 
organized patriotism designed to aid and abet the selfish and 
conflicting economic interests of a highly industrialized and 
commercialized world. In the last analysis, the whole of 
mankind was responsible for the human ills of which this 
unprecedented strife was born, but few could doubt who had 
actually instituted the war. The Nietzsches and Treitschkes had 
been preaching the holy cause of "blonde beast" dominion, 
while Bernhardi and Frobenius had lately confessed the 
objective of Pan-Germanism. Yet it was still with a shudder of 
horror that the Mosaic image of Germany's great "War Lord" — 
William Hohenzollern — was discovered upon the eminence of 
Mount Olivet. Now too people saw, for the first time, the gap in 
the wall of the holy city, which, with stupendous vanity, he had 
caused to be opened in order that he might ascend, with more 
ease than Jesus, to the throne of his 


dominion; and that he proposed, from this sacred spot, to rule 
not only the minds of men, but much of the earth. 

It was all so plain that the war had been fired by the 
contrivance of the Austrian Arch Duke's murder. This brutal act 
might itself have been, as declared by the Germans, but the 
spark which ignited the train; the charge, however, was 
compounded of the patriotisms and economic jealousies of the 
ever narrowing Nationalisms, which the propaganda of falsified 
history had engendered during many years. Even the most 
ardent pro-Germans could, meanwhile, not deny the brutal 
ravishing of Belgium. 151 Dernburg, himself, sought to justify the 
Central Allies, by claims that war had been made inevitable, not 
alone through the fault of Germany, but because France had 
enlarged her army, and Russia completed railways for the 
obvious purpose of mobilizing against Prussia and Austria. 
Would the world have the Central Allies sit back quietly and 
await extermination? What Nation would not have commenced 
a strife seen to be inevitable, at the first opportune time? 

Of the President's own attitude on August 30th, House has 
left a record: 

"The President spoke with deep feeling of the war. He said 
it made him heartsick to think of how near we had come to 
averting this great disaster, and he thought, if it had been de- 
layed a little longer, it could never have happened, because the 
nations would have gotten together in the way I had outlined. 

"I told in detail of my suggestion to Sir Edward Grey and 
other members of the Cabinet, that the surest guaranty of peace 
was for the principals to get together frequently and discuss 
matters with frankness and freedom, as Great Britain and the 
United States were doing. He agreed that this was the most 
effective method, and he again expressed deep regret that the 
war had come too soon to permit the inauguration of such pro- 
cedure. He wondered whether things might have been different 
if I had gone sooner. I though it would have made no differ- 
ence, for the reason that the Kaiser was at Corfu, and it was im- 
possible for me to approach him sooner than I did. . . . 

"I was interested to hear him express as his opinion, what 1 
had written him some time ago in one of my letters, to the 
effect that if Germany won, it would change the course of our 


civilization, and make the United States a military nation. He 
also spoke of his deep regret, as indeed I did to him in that same 
letter, that it would check his policy for a better international 
ethical code. 

"He felt deeply the destruction of Louvain, and I found him 
as unsympathetic with the German attitude as is the balance of 
America. He goes even further than I in his condemnation of 
Germany's part in this war, and almost allows his feeling to 
include the German people as a whole, rather than the leaders 
alone. He said German philosophy was essentially selfish and 
lacking in spirituality. When I spoke of the Kaiser building up 
the German machine as a means of maintaining peace, he said, 
'What a foolish thing it was to create a powder magazine, and 
risk one's dropping a spark into it!' 

"He thought the war would throw the world back three or 
four centuries. I did not agree with him. He was particularly 
scornful of Germany's disregard of treaty obligations, and was 
indignant at the German Chancellor's designation of the Belgian 
Treaty as being 'only a scrap of paper.' 

"I took occasion here to explain to him Sir Edward Grey's 
strong feeling upon the question of treaty obligation, and his 
belief that he, the President, had lifted international ethics to a 
high plane by his action in the Panama Tolls question." 103 

The suggestion of Page that neutrality would afford America 
opportunity to build up shipping — which she had never been 
able to do since the day of the clipper — did not fall on deaf ears. 
Bryan was quick to see a chance to advance his program of 
government ownership, and enlist support for the administration 
by advocating subsidies for a merchant marine. Admission of 
foreign built vessels to American registry, was not enough to 
insure the bottoms necessary to American commerce. Yet 
shipping interests could not be relied on for the vast investment 
required for a purely artificial and probably temporary trade. 
Industrial and commercial interests would support government 
ownership in this emergency, and relinquish the old Republican 
protective policy of barring foreign built vessels from American 
registry. Therefore Hobson of Alabama introduced in the 
House, on September 1, 1914, a bill "to encourage the 
development of the American merchant 


marine and to promote commerce and the national defence," 
with the backing of the Administration, while a similar bill was 
introduced in the Senate on September 14th by Senator Jones 
of Washington. 

Strong opposition to these bills developed at once among 
the Republicans, and German and British sympathizers. The 
Republicans had no idea of fixing government ownership on 
the country. On the other hand, the British looked askance upon 
the proposal to build up with Congressional subsidies, a great 
American merchant marine, while they were engaged in 
crushing the Germans. The Germans, too, were opposed to the 
bill, since it provided for the commandeering of interned 
German vessels. Wilson therefore deemed it unwise to press 
the measure for the time being. 

Marburg saw danger of pro-Entente sympathies forcing the 
country too hastily into war, unless a tremendous counter- 
influence were exerted. He therefore organized, with the aid of 
Oscar Straus, The League to Enforce Peace, which was to 
sponsor a policy of non-interference in the war, and the 
formation of a league of nations upon its conclusion. With the 
active aid of Taft, Benjamin Ide Wheeler, President of the 
University of California, Hamilton Holt, Editor of the 
Independent, and W. H. Short, Secretary of the New York 
Peace Society, they soon enlisted Lyman Abbott, Editor of the 
Outlook, Edward Bok, of The Ladies Home Journal, Cardinal 
Gibbons, John Hays Hammond, President Hibben of Princeton, 
President Lowell of Harvard, John Basset Moore, formerly 
Counsellor of State, Alton B. Parker, Jacob Schiff, Daniel 
Smiley, William Allen White, George Grafton Wilson, 
Professor of International Law at Harvard, and Rabbi Stephen 
S. Wise. 

Marburg's far-reaching purpose is apparent from the 
character of the support he enlisted. While the League was to be 
publicly represented by Taft, Parker, and others, he himself was 
to deal, as Chairman of the Committee of Foreign Branches, 
with the great bankers of New York, London, Paris, Brussels, 
and Rome, in language precluding resistance by any 


Late in August, Sir Edward Grey, cooperating with Root 
and Marburg, declared before the House of Commons, the 
terms on which peace might be established. There must be joint 
guarantees against the present reign of militarism! This was a 
suggestion of British willingness to enter an international 
association, or league of nations, based on a disarmament pact. 
Without the latter, there was to be no peace. Accordingly Oscar 
Straus, Carnegie Trustee, and Member of the Hague Court, 
approached the German Government through Bernstorff, on 
September 1st, while the following letters were despatched on 
September 4th by House to the President: 

"Dear Governor: — 

"I am enclosing you a letter to Herr Zimmermann. If you 
approve, will you not have it properly sealed and sent to the 
German Embassy for transmission? 

"Please criticize it frankly and return it to me for correction 
if you think best. 

"I have a feeling that Germany will soon be glad to entertain 
suggestions of mediation, and that the outlook is more hopeful 
in that direction than elsewhere. 

"Affectionately yours, 

"E. M. HOUSE." 

"Dear Herr Zimmermann: — 

"Thank you for your letter of August 1. I gave it to the 
President to read, and he again expressed his deep regret that 
the efforts to bring about a better understanding between the 
Great Powers of Europe had so signally miscarried. 

"He looks upon the present war with ever-increasing sorrow, 
and his offer of mediation was not an empty one, for he would 
count it a great honor to be able to initiate a movement for 

"Now that His Majesty has no brilliantly shown the power of 
his army, would it not be consistent with his lifelong endeavor 
to maintain peace, to consent to overtures being made in that 

"If I could serve in any way as a medium, it would be a great 
source of happiness to me; and I stand ready to act immediately 
upon any suggestion that Your Excellency may convey, or have 
conveyed confidentially to me. 


"With assurances of my high esteem, I am, my dear Herr 

"Sincerely yours, 

"Edward M. House." 

Hindenburg was now driving the Russians out of East 
Prussia. 101 ' 13 ° Thus, although Dumba, the Austrian Ambassador 
in Washington, assured House, on the 5th, that the Kaiser 
would welcome peace so soon as a decisive victory had been 
won, the Allies had no idea of falling into the trap of peace 
negotiations. 46 ' 92 ' 921 ' 78 ' 108 On this same day, an engagement was 
signed between them in London, pledging themselves only to 
consider peace terms jointly. This was their answer to Wilson. 
He did not relish it, since it would obviously make it necessary 
for him to deal with the Russian and French Governments, 
between which and himself, dislike was mutual. 

The next day — September 6th — came the check to the 
German advance on the Marne. The German war plans had 
contemplated only a short campaign, so that the prospect of 
facing a vast coalition in a long drawn-out struggle, appalled 
the army leaders. Some of them have since confessed that they 
regarded the war as having been lost on the Marne. Fully 
informed of Wilson's relations with Grey, and of Marburg's 
whole scheme, the Wilhelmstrasse had no idea, however, of 
proposing peace. It therefore encouraged Straus to go on with 
his negotiations, simply to gain time for a renewed military 
effort, and this the Entente Governments knew. Completely 
deceived by Bern-storff and Dumba, Wilson proclaimed 
October 4, 1914, as a day of prayer for peace. 

Grey and Page were alarmed by the terrible defeats in- 
flicted upon Russia. The Czar would, obviously, not be able to 
contribute to the Entente cause what had been expected of him. 
Something must, moreover, be done to counteract the effect of 
German propaganda in America. It was therefore arranged for a 
Belgian Commission to visit America, while Grey sent over a 
party of writers to carry on the British propaganda, and 
appealed to Roosevelt for his open support of the Entente 
cause. Page had meantime awak- 


ened to the danger of a German victory, and had under-gone a 
compete change of heart. Still cooperating with Grey, he now 
sent the following confidential despatch to Wilson: 

"September 11,3 A.M. 
"No. 645. 

"Accounts of atrocities are so inevitably a part of every war 
that for some time I did not believe the unbelievable reports that 
were sent from Europe, and there are many that I find incredible 
even now. But American and other neutral observers who have 
seen these things in France, and especially in Belgium, now 
convince me that the Germans have perpetrated some of the 
most barbarous deeds in history. Apparently credible persons 
relate such things without end. 

"Those who have violated the Belgian treaty, those who have 
sown torpedoes in the open sea, those who have dropped bombs 
in Antwerp and Paris indiscriminately, with the idea of killing 
whom they may strike, have taken to heart Bernhardi's doctrine 
that war is a glorious occupation. Can any one longer disbelieve 
the completely barbarous behavior of the Prussians? 


In answer to Wilson's prayer for peace, Grey notified House 
in Washington through the British Ambassador, on September 
12th, that the Allies were not interested in merely ending the 
present war, and would consider no peace proposals that did not 
look to the ending of all wars. "We have suffered too severely 
by trusting in treaties," wrote Spring-Rice, "and if we were to 
allow Belgium to suffer what she has suffered without 
compensation, we should be pretty mean quitters. It is an awful 
prospect for the world, and I see no immediate remedy." It is 
evident from this that, while Grey was still committed to the 
idea of a league of nations, the Allies had no more idea of 
accepting mediation than the Germans. This was fully 
confirmed by Page: 

"Dear House:- 

"... You needn't fool yourself; they are going to knock 
Germany out, and nothing will be allowed to stand in their 
way. And unless the German navy comes out and gets 


pretty soon, it will be a longer war than most persons have 
thought. It'll be fought to a finish, too. Pray God, don't let . . . 
the Peace Old-Women get the notion afloat that we can or ought 
to stop it before the Kaiser is put out of business. That would be 
playing directly into Bernstorff s hands. Civilization must be 
rescued. Well, there's no chance for it till German militarism is 
dead. . . . 

"Yours heartily, 

"W. H. P." 103 

That Bryan was working hand in glove with the Germans, 
who were leading him on to believe Britain alone was blocking 
a peace, there can be no doubt. His anti-British attitude had, 
from the very first, been apparent. Page had early become 
disgusted with Bryan's manner of conducting the State 
Department. His description of the "leaks" to Germany is 
almost unbelievable. He proposed to send no more despatches 
to Bryan. 

The German agents had, meanwhile, been taking the fullest 
possible advantage of the peace negotiations. The Hamburg- 
American Line, which had been converted, under the direction 
of Dr. Biinz, into a war agency, was actually engaged in coaling 
German cruisers still at large. The British Secret Service had in 
vain reported to the Government just what was going on. 10 

The Belgian mission arrived in America on September 16th. 
In the hysteria of sympathy to which their appearance gave rise, 
numerous editors and public speakers pointed out the obvious 
fallacies in Wilson's appeal for neutrality, denying loudly that it 
was dictated either by humanistic considerations, or regard for 
the welfare of the United States. Harvey, they declared, was 
right — Armageddon was upon the world, and America could 
not and should not try to escape her part. Wilson's so-called 
idealism was declared to be pure selfishness and nothing more. 

At this juncture, Rustem Bey, the Turkish Ambassador, 
undertook, by public expressions advocating the cause of the 
Pan-Germans, to back up the policy of the Administration. This 
was too much — the American people did not propose to be 
instructed by a Turk on their duty as a Na- 


tion. The popular demand for Rustem's dismissal was in-stant. 
Bryan was, accordingly, compelled, much against his will, to 
request his recall.* 

This showed the Germans plainly, the trend of public opinion, 
nor did they fail to see the danger of the United States being 
swept into the war by the storm of emotion stirred up by the 
Belgian visitors. There was the added danger that, under the 
influence of the League to Enforce Peace, the country might 
abandon Bryan in favor of the military preparedness which 
Roosevelt, Harvey, Wood and others were advocating. 
Bernstorff was, therefore, instructed to keep the peace 
negotiations alive, and to spare no effort to convince Wilson 
that Germany would seriously consider joining a league of 
nations. Accordingly Bernstorff, who knew House's functions, 
now approached the "Silent Partner." 

House, again deceived, called on Wilson for instructions. 
Germany would, he thought, now agree to a general 
disarmament, with an indemnity for Belgium. Should he 
continue his talks with Bernstorff, who had promised that no 
human being should know of their negotiations? 

It was Wilson's opinion that, while Britain now dominated 
her allies, either Russia or Germany would later dominate the 
world, unless they were drawn into a league of nations and 
disarmed. The upshot was that House was directed to bring 
Bernstorff and the British Ambassador together. But Sir Cecil 
Spring-Rice did not trust the Wil-helmstrasse, and was openly 
opposed to any proposal of a league of nations at this time. It 
would be necessary, he declared, to approach all the Entente 
Allies coincidentally, and none of them were now willing to be 
put in the position of suing for peace. Germany must be 
crushed! ** 

One of the strangest things that occurred during the Presidency 
of Woodrow Wilson was, perhaps, the immense support for his 
policy of neutrality derived from Theodore Roosevelt during 
the Belgian visitation. Seeing the dan-*After some 
correspondence and delays, Rustem Bey departed October 4, 
1914, Peace Prayer Day. 

** All the details are stated in House's record. 


ger of the country being swept off its feet by its sympathy with 
the Belgians, Roosevelt wrote in the Outlook, on September 
23rd, 1914: "It is certainly eminently desirable that we should 
remain entirely neutral, and nothing but urgent need would 
warrant our breaking our neutrality and taking sides one way or 
the other. . . . What action we can take ... I know not." 

In Roosevelt's opinion, only "urgent need would warrant our 
breaking our neutrality. Of course," he added "it would be folly 
to jump into the gulf ourselves to no good purpose; and very 
probably nothing that we could have done, would have helped 
Belgium. We have not the smallest responsibility for what has 
befallen her, and I am sure the sympathy of this country for the 
suffering of men, women and children in Belgium is very real. 
Nevertheless, this sympathy is compatible with full 
acknowledgment of the unwisdom of our uttering a single word 
of official protest unless we are prepared to make that protest 
effective; and only the clearest and most urgent national duty 
would ever justify us in deviating from our rule of neutrality 
and non-interference. 

"Of course, if there is any meaning in the words 'right' and 
'wrong' in international matters, the act was wrong. The men 
who shape German policy take the ground that, in matters of 
vital moment, there are no such things as abstract right and 
wrong, and that when a great nation is struggling for its 
existence, it can no more consider the rights of even its own 
citizens as these rights are considered in times of peace, and that 
everything must bend before the supreme law of national 
preservation. Whatever we may think of the morality of this 
plea, it is certain that almost all great nations have in times past 
again and again acted in accordance with it. " 

Roosevelt cited, as an example, "England's conduct toward 
Denmark in the Napoleonic wars, and the conduct of both 
England and France toward us during the same wars," and "our 
conduct toward Spain and Florida nearly a century ago." He 
said he wished it "explicitly understood that I am not at this 
time passing judgment one way 


or the other upon Germany for what she did to Belgium." He 
went on to say: "They (the Belgians) are suffering somewhat 
as my own German ancestors suffered when Turenne 
ravaged the Palatinate, somewhat as my Irish ancestors suffered 
in the struggles that attended the conquests and reconquests of 
Ireland in the days of Cromwell and William." He wished it to 
be understood that he was not condemning the Germans, for he 
added: "I think, at any rate, I hope, I have rendered it plain that I 
am not now criticizing, that I am not passing judgment one way 
or the other, upon Germany's action. I admire and respect the 
German people. I am proud of the German blood in my veins. 
When a nation feels that the issue of a contest in which, for 
whatever reason, it finds itself engaged, will be national life or 
death, it is inevitable that it should act so as to save itself from 
death, and to perpetuate its life." He concludes, "The rights and 
wrongs of those cases where nations violate the rules of abstract 
morality in order to meet their own vital needs, can be precisely 
determined only when all the facts are known, and when men's 
blood is cool." 

This language has been construed by partisans as a complete 
confirmation of Wilson's policy. 61 Referring to it, Tumulty says: 
"It was not the policy of a weakling or a timid man. It was the 
policy of a prudent leader and statesman, who was feeling his 
way amid dangers, and who, as an historian himself, knew the 
difficulties of an imprudent or incautious move." * 
This is true, but if Roosevelt's position be analyzed, it will be 
seen to be based on entirely different considerations from those 
which had dictated Wilson's policy. The latter was in no wise 
dictated by a regard for the traditional American policy, which 
Roosevelt never abandoned. Roosevelt's attitude in September, 
1914, was dictated by the danger in which the country had been 
placed by the stubborn refusal of the Administration to arm it. 
What if the British fleet were defeated in a decisive major 
engagement, likely to occur any day? What then would become 
of America? 

*Tumulty, p. 227. 


The exact position of Roosevelt at this time is established 
by the following letter: 

"Thirty East Forty-second Street 
"New York City. 

"October 3, 1914 
"MY DEAR GREY: — I have just received your letter, and have 
immediately asked Barrie and Mason to lunch with me. 

"I have just written an article for The Outlook and a series of 
articles for various daily papers upon the war, in which, while I 
did my best not to be in any way offensive to Germany, I 
emphatically backed the position that England, and specifically 
you, have taken. I have been in a very difficult position. I am in 
opposition to the Administration, and to say how I myself 
would have acted, when I am not in power, and when the action 
I would have taken is the reverse of that which the present 
Administration takes, would do harm and not good. This is 
especially so because the bulk of our people do not understand 
foreign politics, and have no idea about any impending military 
danger. When I was President, I really succeeded in educating 
them to a fairly good understanding of these matters, and I 
believe that if I had been President at the outset of this war, they 
would have acquiesced in my taking the stand I most assuredly 
would have taken as the head of a signatory nation of the Hague 
Treaties, in reference to the violation of Belgium's neutrality. 
But, of course, I should not have taken such a stand if I had not 
been prepared to back it up to the end, no matter what course it 
necessitated; and it would be utterly silly to advocate the 
Administration taking such a position, unless I knew that the 
Administration would proceed to back up its position. In my 
articles I spoke very plainly, but I believe with proper reserve 
and courtesy. I do not know whether they have reached England 
or not, but they certainly reached Germany, for the Cologne 
Gazette assailed me for them. Doubtless Spring-Rice will send 
them to you if you care to see them. 

"Very sincerely yours, 

"Theodore Roosevelt." 92a 

The Administration had passed its first crisis successfully, 
nor had the visit of the Belgians been wholly abortive. Largely 
as a result of it, active relief measures for 


their country were now instituted, at their request, under the 
direction of Herbert Hoover, with the hearty cooperation of 
Brand Whitlock, the new American Ambassador in Belgium. 
The German Government was now stirring up a cam-paign of 
hate against Britain that utterly belied the attitude which 
Bernstorff and Dumba had assumed. Plainly the Pan-Germans 
were bent upon crushing their enemies. House had, by this time, 
despaired of inducing the belligerents to accept Marburg's 
proposals, while Wilson, convinced that there was no chance at 
present of forming a league of nations, showed little enthusiasm 
for the League to Enforce Peace. "But," wrote House on 
September 28th, "Congress will adjourn now within a few days, 
and when it is out of the way, it is my purpose to make a drive 
at the President, and try to get him absorbed in the greatest 
problem of world-wide interest that has ever come, or may ever 
come, before a President of the United States." 



A Failing Administration. The Political Expediency of 
Wilson's Apparent Anti-British Attitude. Page Protests. 
Reconciliation with Harvey. Harvey Urges Wilson to Strike 
for Peace. Wilson Opposes Military Preparedness. Further 
Efforts to Deceive Germany. House Betrays Page. "In the 
Supreme Court of Civilization. " A Democratic Defeat. 

ALTHOUGH WILSON had definitely committed himself to Grey 
during the preceding November, he was, ac-cording to House, 
so much engrossed in domestic politics during the Autumn, that 
he seemed "singularly lacking in his appreciation of the 
European crisis." He had little interest in "the pursuit of a 
foreign policy that would make him world famous." 

The truth is that Wilson was in a desperate situation. As the 
Congressional elections approached, it became obvious that the 
Administration was far from popular with the intellectual 
element of the country which was strongly pro-ally, or with the 
commercial interests which had begun to feel strongly the pinch 
of the British blockade. Moreover, the business depression, 
imminent even before the war, had been greatly intensified by 
the restrictions imposed upon foreign trade by the Allies. 
Feeling the effects of this acutely, and still smarting from the 
effects of the Clayton Act which had had the President's 
unqualified support, Organized Labor was in an ugly mood. In 
consequence, numerous strikes of the most serious character, 
which had necessitated calls upon the Regular Army for their 
suppres-sion, were in progress in the West. The Democratic 
party was split wide asunder; with his old enemy, McAdoo, 
thoroughly established in the good graces of his Presidential 


father-in-law, McCombs was so bitterly hostile, that he was 
apparently glad to see the Administration headed for the rocks. 
At any rate, with the Chairman of the party pre-dicting its 
defeat, it was no time for Wilson to be preaching 

The checking of the Germans on the Marne, and the terrible 
defeat of the Russians by Hindenburg, had produced a 
stalemate, and the belligerents found themselves in a situation 
without precedent. Never before had warfare been waged over 
so large a field of action. If Britain, France, and Russia were to 
overcome the Central Allies, they must, obviously, cut them off 
from the outer world. But this was impossible if Holland and 
the Scandinavian countries were left free, in effect, to nullify 
the blockade of German ports. The imports of those countries 
must be regulated. Impelled by what they conceived to be 
necessity, Britain and France had, therefore, adopted steadily 
broadening lists of contraband, and made radical departures 
from the principles laid down in the Declaration of London. 
Even the commercial interests which had accepted neutrality 
with approval, commenced to complain, in consequence, that 
their Government was not protecting them. 65 

The British pleaded that, in no case, had they seized 
American goods not intended for the Central Allies. The most 
convincing figures were produced to show that the 
Scandinavians and Hollanders had become middlemen for 
Germany. This alone could explain the inflated market prices, 
since the supplies being purchased by these neutrals were in 
excess of any possible requirements on their part. The 
American shippers were no less determined to obtain the best 
market prices, while the German propagandists devoted 
themselves assiduously to intensifying popular dissatisfaction 
with the President's alleged pro-ally policy. 

As time went on, things grew worse and worse. The 
commercial interests, and particularly the cotton and sugar 
people and the meat packers, to whom the Dutch and Scan- 
dinavians were offering fabulous prices, had had enough of 


Wilson's "idealism." What they wanted was to realize on the 
existing market. 

Cotton was the hardest hit of all the commodities. When 
Judge Adamson of Georgia urged Government action to help 
cotton, Wilson tried to impress upon him that, with war in 
progress, the law of supply and demand was deeply affected, 
and sales of cotton necessarily restricted by closure of certain 
markets. In urging his views upon Wilson Adamson said: "But 
you, Mr. President, can suspend the law of supply and 
demand." Wilson responded by saying: "If I did, Judge, and 
you ran your head up against it, you might get hurt. " 

"The pressure upon us at the White House for satisfaction at 
the hands of England, grew more intense each day," wrote 
Tumulty. "I recall a conversation I had with the President 
shortly before the Congressional elections, when the President's 
political enemies were decrying his kind treatment of England, 
and excoriating him for the stern manner in which he was 
holding Germany to strict accountability for her actions. This 
conversation was held while we were on board the President's 
train on our way to the West. After dinner one evening I 
tactfully broached the subject of the British blockade, and laid 
before the President the use our enemies were making of his 
patient action toward England. My frank criticism deeply 
aroused him. Replying to me, he pitilessly attacked those who 
were crti-cizing him for letting up on Great Britain.' Looking 
across the table at me he said: 'I am aware of the demands that 
are daily being made upon me by my friends for more vigorous 
action against England in the matter of the blockade. I am aware 
also of the sinister political purpose that lies back of many of 
these demands. Many senators and congressmen who urge 
radical action against England, are thinking only of German 
votes in their districts, and are not thinking of the world crisis 
that would inevitably occur, should there be an actual breach at 
this time between England and America over the blockade.' 
Then looking squarely at me, he said: 'I have gone to the very 
limit in pressing our claims upon England in urging the British 
Foreign Office to mod- 


ify the blockade. Walter Page, our Ambassador to England, has 
placed every emphasis upon our insistence that something be 
done, and something will be done, but England, now in the 
throes of a great war crisis, must at least be given a chance to 
adjust these matters. Only a few days ago Mr. Page wrote me a 
most interesting letter, describing the details of a conference he 
had had with Sir Edward Grey, the British Foreign Secretary, to 
discuss our protests against the British blockade. Mr. Page 
described the room in which the conference was held, on the 
wall of which was hung as a memorial the fifteen-million-dollar 
check with which Great Britain paid the Alabama claims in the 
Civil War. Mr. Page pointed to this Alabama check and said: 'If 
you don't stop these seizures, Sir Edward, some day you will 
have your entire room papered with things like that.' Sir Edward 
replied: 'That may be so, but we will pay every cent. Of course, 
many of the restrictions we have laid down and which seriously 
interfere with your trade, are unreasonable. But America must 
remember that we are fighting her fight, as well as our own, to 
save the civilization of the world. You dare not press us too far!' 
Turning to me, the President said: 'He was right. England is 
fighting our fight and you may well understand that I shall not, 
in the present state of the world affairs, place obstacles in her 
way. Many of our critics suggest war with England in order to 
force reparation in these matters. War with England would 
result in a German triumph. No matter what may happen to me 
personally in the next election, I will not take any action to 
embarrass England when she is fighting for her life and the life 
of the world. Let those who clamour for radical action against 

91 C 

England understand this!'" 

Wilson was not optimistic at this time. "He did not have a 
hopeful outlook," says House, "and declared that he would feel 
a great load lifted from his shoulders," if he knew that he would 
not have to stand for reelection. "What frightened him, was that 
he would not be able to retain the confidence of the country in 
the future as in the past, since his program was complete, and 
he knew of no new measures which would suffice to win 
additional support." 


While Wilson was worrying about his political prospects, 
wondering what appeal he could put forward to recover lost 
ground, to say nothing of the enlarged support necessary to 
reelect him — not less than two million additional votes over 
those cast for him in 1912 — a score of Southern Congressmen, 
headed by Senator Hoke Smith of Georgia, undertook to solve 
the problem. 

"If the Allies want to pay the market price for our cotton 
they can have it, — but unless the South gets it Wilson will not 
get our vote!" So spoke these statesmen to Bryan, who had, 
himself, no idea of going down in defeat in 1916 if he could 
possibly prevent it. 

First these men proposed to institute a tremendous 
propaganda through the Administration press designed to show 
the country that Germany was not at fault. The "hated English" 
were to be represented as injuring American trade. This would 
naturally arouse all the anti-British sentiment in the country, 
and enlist it in the support of the Democratic party. Next they 
proposed to win the support of the trade, industrial, and 
shipping interests, for the Jones-Hobson shipping bill, in order 
to increase trade by the use of interned vessels. Finally the 
Federal Government was to be committed to all manner of 
subsidies and government ownership projects for the benefit of 

Wilson was in despair. It was obvious to him that he could 
not maintain the understanding with the British Government 
which was essential to the consummation of a league of nations, 
and at the same time contribute to the German victory, which 
would be the inevitable result of interfering with the British 
blockade. But the choice between certain defeat in 1916, and 
the adoption of an anti-British attitude was unavoidable. All that 
remained for him was to try to insure his reelection, and 
meanwhile make the British Government understand his 
situation. For what would become of the league of nations 
should he be defeated? 

Exactly when Wilson became committed to Bryan's anti- 
British program, cannot be said with certainty. When, on 
September 30th, he discussed with House the seizure of 


American ships by the British, he read a page from his History 
of the American People, telling how, during Madison's 
Administration, the War of 1812 had been started in exactly the 
same way as this controversy. The passage de-scribed the 
peace-loving Madison as compelled to go to war by popular 

"The President said: 'Madison and I are the only two 
Princeton men that have become President. The circumstances 
of the War of 1812 and now, run parallel. I sincerely hope they 
will not go further!'" 

In the situation described, the task of explaining to Grey fell 
to House. To offset as far as possible the effect of Bryan and 
Wilson's apparent hostility to Britain, he had to make clear the 
compulsion under which our Government was acting, and to 
keep the British thoroughly posted as to the meaning of every 
move. 1(B The game of political chess into which Wilson had 
been drawn, became more and more complex. 

Meantime, despite his demands for a firmer policy, Harvey 
did the best he could to procure Wilson a Congressional 
majority in the coming election. In September, he published an 
article in The North American Review under the significant 
caption, Uphold the President. In it, he pleaded for the return of 
another Democratic majority in Congress, at the coming 
elections. The President deserved it, he affirmed, since he had 
kept the faith. More than that, the country owed it to itself to 
give him that support, in view of the tremendous happenings in 
Europe, with which, whether it wished it or not, it was bound to 
be concerned. So the President's hands "should be strengthened 
by a vote of confidence, not weakened by seeming division. 
Now, more than ever before, or perhaps ever again, it behooves 
our country to stand behind its leader, united before the world. " 
Shortly after this article appeared, Harvey received an invitation 
to visit Wilson, which he declined; only to be persuaded by 
Tumulty on October 4th — "Peace Sunday" — to accept another. 
That evening the President's secretary gave to the press the 
statement: "Colonel Harvey, on the 


invitation of the President, spent an hour with him at the White 
House this afternoon, discussing the general situation." 

The conversation between Wilson and Harvey was general, 
Wilson offering no apologies for his actions in the past At 
Harvey's departure, something was said about the immortal 
Washington. "Mr. President," said Harvey sen-tentiously, 
laying his hand upon Wilson's shoulder, "Washington will 
always be known as the Father of his Country. But this war, 
which involves directly or indirectly all the world, will afford 
you, sir, opportunity to achieve a still higher position, a greater 
fame. For you, sir, may become the Father of the Peace of the 

Had Harvey too been captured by Marburg? Nearly ten 
years afterward, Dr. Stockton Axson, the close friend of Wilson 
and brother of his first wife, related that, a little after this call of 
Harvey's, Wilson said to him, at the White House: "I am very 
much troubled about this war, lest something shall happen on 
the high seas that will draw us into it. I know we can render a 
greater service to the world by keeping out of it. . . . At the 
close of this war, four things will have to be settled. First, that 
small nations shall have equal rights with great nations; second, 
that never again must it be permitted for a foot of ground to be 
obtained by conquest; third, that the manufacture of munitions 
of war must be by governments and not by private individuals; 
and fourth, that all nations must be absorbed into some great 
association of nations, whereby all shall guarantee the integrity 
of each." 

It is evident from this that Wilson had imbibed the whole 
philosophy of Marburg. Here were the tenets which the latter 
had been proclaiming for years as the basis of an enduring 
world peace. 

It was oddly appropriate that Harvey should have been 
summoned on the first Peace Sunday. The next morning, his 
call at the White House was "first-page" news in almost every 
important newspaper, and was cabled to other countries. It was 
a topic for editorial comment, even amid the European 
cataclysm. It was no mere gesture — Wilson 


needed support badly. Five days later Tumulty thanked Harvey, 
on Wilson's behalf, for what he was doing. 
The events of the Autumn convinced Marburg that the time had 
come for military legislation. Accordingly House was asked to 
reverse his attitude toward "preparedness," and accordingly, 
wrote of his sympathy with Wood, since "even before the 
outbreak of the European war" he, House, had "taken great 
interest in what came to be called preparedness." Henceforth 
"military preparedness," was to be the "leit motif" of all the 
arguments, by which House sought to induce the President to 
adopt "a new and more constructive foreign policy." 

At the same time, Sir Edward Grey appealed to Roosevelt to 
advocate the principle of a league of nations. Under date of 
October 20, 1914, he wrote him: 

"Your idea that the United States might come forward on the 
eve of the outbreak of war to uphold Treaty rights, makes me 
glow at the thought of what might have been achieved. I see all 
the difficulty there would have been in getting American public 
opinion to endorse such action. The line that the present United 
States Government have taken is, of course, the natural and 
expected one. But, if the United States had taken action, they 
might possibly have stopped the war. I say, 'possibly,' because 
the accumulated evidence of the enormous preparation of 
Germany, her confidence, and her intention, makes me doubt 
whether anything could have stopped her at the last moment. 
But, if the United States had stopped the war, they would have 
broken militarism without a war. It would have been made clear 
that it was not worth while to maintain these enormous 
armaments, if, when an attempt was made to use them for 
aggressive purposes, the world was brought out against them. 
The result might have been an agreement between France, 
Germany, Russia, and England that none of them would attack 
another; that they would keep their armaments within certain 
bounds; that, on any dispute arising on this or any other 
question between any of them, it would be referred to 
arbitration, possibly the arbitration of the United States; and 
that, if any one Power refused arbitration, the others would all 
join forces against it. 

We had, I thought, during the Balkan crisis a year ago or 


so, made some progress towards getting the European groups of 
Powers together. We got on very well with Germany at that 
time, because the Prussian military party did not think the time 
for war had come, and left the civil element alone. 

"Now, I can see nothing for it but to fight on till we can get 
a peace that will secure us against Prussian militarism. Once 
freed of that, Germany will have nothing to fear, because we 
shall have no more to fear from her. 

"I still think it possible that the United States Government 
may play a great part in the making of the peace at the end of 
this war, and in securing permanent peace afterwards. But it 
has, of course, become a point of honour for us that there 
should be reasonable redress to Belgium for what she has suf- 
fered. Germany will not look at this till she is beaten, and we 
cannot give up contending for it while we are unbeaten." 

Wilson was stubborn. He wanted peace and a league of 
nations, but he was fearful of Bryan and could not openly 
advocate enforced peace. Moreover, he felt that the Pan- 
Germans must be convinced that there was no understanding 
between him and Grey, before they could be driven into a 
league of nations and disarmed. Therefore, in an address to the 
American Bar Association in Washington on International Law, 
the very day Grey wrote Roosevelt, he dwelt upon the rights of 
mankind, and the duty of the nations to humanity. After laying 
down the indubitably sound premise that "the opinion of the 
world is the mistress of the world," he concluded by saying: 
"the disinterested course is always the biggest course to pursue 
not only, but it is in the long run the most profitable course to 
pursue." Again the country found itself bewildered. What could 
he possibly mean? 

The Internationalists were not satisfied with this speech. 
House recorded that he was sorry, as he had said before, that 
Wilson did not seem to have a proper sense of proportion as 
between domestic and foreign affairs; and that his inability to 
envisage the opportunity for a positive foreign policy accounted 
for his failure to perceive the immediate necessity of developing 
the military and naval strength of the nation. 


The commercial interests of the country had no idea of 
taking a "disinterested course" toward the war; Bryan pressed 
the President vigorously on their behalf. At the same time the 
Germans insisted that, if Wilson were really impartial, pressure 
must be put on the Allies to recognize the generally accepted 
rules of international law. Accordingly, on October 22, 1914, a 
note was despatched to Britain and France, at Bryan's instance, 
revoking the proposal of August 6th, and declaring that 
henceforth the United States would "insist that the rights and 
duties of the United States and its citizens in the present war be 
defined by the existing rules of international law, and the 
Treaties of the United States, irrespective of the Declaration of 

Incensed by a policy calculated to destroy the friendly 
relations between Britain and America, Page showed bitterness 
against Bryan's increasing tendency to make mountains out of 
molehills, in his endless protests against the British blockade. 
Naturally his attitude was resented by the Secretary of State. 

"This fellow Page thinks he's running the country. He's been 
won over entirely by Grey, until he's more English than the 
English, and the Germans complain bitterly of his unneutral 
attitude. He can't run my Department — I won't stand for his 
dictation any longer! He's got to be put in his place." 

Such, in substance, was what Bryan constantly said to 
Wilson, who became more and more impatient with Page. 
House had long since concluded that, if a league of nations 
were to be formed, Page's influence must first be destroyed. 
The opportunity for which the "Silent Partner" had waited, 
came at last. "The library lawyers," Page cabled to House in an 
appeal for help, "are losing chestnuts while arguing over 
burns." Knowing full well Wilson's irritated state of mind, 
House deliberately transmitted the message to him. As 
anticipated, Wilson, in a high temper, instructed his "Silent 
Partner" to tell Page that while he might be disturbed over the 
conduct of the Secretary of State, the "President" was also 
disturbed over that of "his Ambassador," 


who "must see the matters under discussion in the light in 
which they were seen in the United States." 

Next, House convinced Wilson that the unneutral attitude 
of Page and Gerard was being construed by the Germans as 
evidence of pro-ally sympathies on Wilson's part; House was 
then directed to warn them both. 

The Secretary of State, too, had always been an obstacle in 
the way of a league of nations. Discerning Bern-storffs 
influence in a long letter by Bryan of instructions to Page, 
couched in the most undiplomatic terms, concerning the British 
controversy, House persuaded Wilson to forbid it to be sent, 
and to permit him to adjust with the British Government the 
altercation which Bryan had brought about. 

"I showed the Ambassador the letter X had prepared to send 
Page," says House. "He was thoroughly alarmed over some of 
the diplomatic expressions. One paragraph in particular he 
thought amounted almost to a declaration of war. He said if that 
paper should get into the hands of the press, the headlines 
would indicate that war with Great Britain was inevitable, and 
he believed one of the greatest panics the country ever saw 
would ensue, for it was as bad or worse than the Venezuela 

Despite Harvey's earnest support, things were not going 
well with the Democratic Party. On the eve of the election, 
James M. Beck — an eminent American lawyer, and a member 
of the League to Enforce Peace — published an article in the 
New York Times under the title of "In the Supreme Court of 
Civilization," in which, with transcendent reason, the author 
appealed to the conscience of the Nation. It had a profound 
effect in counteracting the popular animosity against Great 
Britain, generated by the Administration Press and the German 
propagandists. Meantime too, House, working secretly with 
Spring-Rice, had fully explained to the British Government the 
party politics entering into Wilson's apparent anti-British 
policy, so that it was thoroughly able to cut its cloth 
accordingly-Then, on November 3, 1914, in a peculiarly well- 
timed note, probably suggested by House, Britain declared the 


tire North Sea a war-zone, in order that the existing law as to 
search and seizure might be applied to it; thus finally 
discrediting Bryan. 

In the face of such action, it was evident that neutrals could 
not remain free of the far flung coils of this new strife, unless 
willing to surrender all freedom of action hitherto enjoyed. The 
day was plainly near at hand when a choice must be made 
between this and belligerency. 

Whatever may have been the effect of Beck's article and the 
British proclamation, the election showed that Bryan's anti- 
British policy and German propaganda were not alone sufficient 
to recover for Wilson the popularity which he had lost. In 1913, 
there were 290 Democrats to 127 Republicans in the House, 51 
Democrats to 45 Republicans in the Senate. Although the 
Senate remained unchanged, Wilson found himself, after the 
Congressional election of 1914, with a bare working majority of 
33 in the House! The great mass of Roosevelt Progressives had 
obviously returned to the regular Republican ranks. This, in 
itself, is conclusive that the country was strongly anti-Wilson, 
and that much of the subsequent anti-British sentiment was 
manufactured by the Administration. 



The Internationalists Demand Preparedness. Wheels 

Within Wheels. House Secretly Cooperates with The 

League to Enforce Peace to Force Wilson's Hand. The 

Munitions Trade. Page Reprimanded. 

McCombs WAS jubilant over the result of the elections. 
"I told you so," he could shout at the McAdoo-Tumulty- 
Burleson-Daniels group. But the outcome was a shock 
to Wilson. For a time he seemed dazed. 

The Internationalists were in a difficult situation, dependent 
for the success of their scheme upon Wilson, who now refused 
to advocate military preparedness for fear of Bryan. Neutrality 
coupled with unpreparedness would place the country at the 
mercy of Germany, should the Central Allies defeat their 
present opponents. It was too great a risk to take, now that the 
danger of Japan had passed. 

The plan now adopted to force Wilson's hand, was simple. 
"Hyphenism" was to be represented as a real international 
danger. If Wood were encouraged to go forward with his 
training camps and propaganda without interference from 
Wilson, a popular demand for adequate military legislation, 
purely for the national defense, could be built up. Bryan could 
thus be overruled, without placing on Wilson the responsibility 
of advocating unpacific measures. The country could thus be 
armed, and, at the same time, Wilson retain the support of the 
pacifists, by appearing to oppose military preparedness looking 
to intervention. 

Again House was equal to the occasion. On November 3rd, 
he stopped off at Governor's Island on the way to Washington 
to confer with Wood, in order to acquaint himself with the 
latter's military program, and to coordinate his efforts with the 


"I am strongly of the opinion" he wrote after this meeting, 
"that it is time for this Government to adopt some system, 
perhaps the Swiss, looking toward a reserve force in the event 
of war. I found General Wood receptive. He is to send me, at 
the White House, memoranda and data to hand the President for 
his information. Wood is desirous of going to the War Zone, 
and I told him I would try to arrange it, for the reason we have 
no military man who has had any experience in the handling of 
large bodies of troops." 

The implication that Wood was "receptive" of House's 
military ideas is preposterous. For months Garrison, Wood, and 
the General Staff had been talking about adapting the Swiss 
System of universal compulsory military training to America. 
But apparently there was nothing House hesitated to claim. 
Now he is found undertaking to insure the proper training of an 
army commander! 

The next day the "Silent Partner" conferred with the 
President. "We passed," he says, "to the question of a reserve 
army. He balked somewhat at first, and said he thought the 
labor people would object because they felt that a large army 
was against their interests. He did not believe there was any 
necessity for immediate action; he was afraid it would shock the 
country. He made the statement that, no matter how the great 
war ended, there would be complete exhaustion; and, even if 
Germany won, she would not be in a condition seriously to 
menace our country for many years to come. I combated this 
idea, stating that Germany would have a large military force 
ready to act in furthering the designs which the military party 
evidently have in mind. He said she would not have the men. I 
replied that she could not win unless she had at least two or 
three million men under arms at the end. He evidently bought 
the available men would be completely wiped out. 
"I insisted it was time to do a great constructive work for the 
army, and one which would make the country too powerful for 
any nation to think of attacking us. He told me there was reason 
to suspect that the Germans had laid throughout the country 
concrete foundations for great 


guns, similar to those they laid in Belgium and France. He 
almost feared to express this knowledge aloud, for, if the rumor 
got abroad, it would inflame our people to such an extent that 
he would be afraid of consequences. General Wood has the 
matter under investigation, and he asked me to caution Wood to 
be very secret." 

In this bit of evidence, is disclosed the strange mentality of 
Wilson. While the self-styled champion of humanity, he viewed 
with utter complacence the probable prostration of the 
belligerents. At the same time, he was fearful of informing his 
own people of the danger in which he believed them to be, lest 
their passions be aroused! 

"I spoke," continues House, "of General Wood's desire to be 
sent abroad, and asked him to let him go, in order that we might 
have at least one man in our army with some experience. He 
said they would not accept him. I replied that Wood thought 
otherwise, and it was something for him to work in his own 

"In speaking of the building-up of our army, I thought, if the 
Allies were successful, there would be no need for haste; but if 
the Germans were successful, and we then began our 
preparations, it would be almost equivalent to a declaration of 
war, for they would know we were directing our preparations 
against them. I therefore urged that we start without delay, so 
that we might be ready and avoid being placed in such a 
position. ..." 

As a result of these arguments, and Wilson's confessed 
fears, it was agreed that House should do what he could to 
overcome the opposition of the "Apostle of Peace" to the 
necessary military legislation, for the protection of the country 
against international enemies. Accordingly, on November 8th, 
he took the matter up with Bryan. 

"I wanted," says House, "to find out what his views were 
regarding the army. I found him in violent opposition to any 
kind of increase by the reserve plan. He did not believe that 
there was the slightest danger to this country from foreign 
invasion, even if the Germans were successful. He thought after 
war was declared, there would be plenty of time to make any 
preparations necessary. He 


talked as innocently as my little grandchild, Jane Tucker. He 
spoke with great feeling, and I fear he may give trouble. ..." * 

Bryan's position was, in short, that if Germany did force 
America into war, the Allies could protect the country while it 
was preparing to do its part! 

Meantime, Grey had again urged Roosevelt to lend his aid 
to the Entente cause. So it was that, while House intrigued with 
Wilson and Bryan, Roosevelt repeated his proposal of a "Posse 
Comitatus" of neutral states. In his opinion, it was the duty of 
neutrals to do more than profit materially by the war. In a case 
where one of the belligerents was so flagrantly guilty of wrongs 
to humanity in the conduct of a war, as Germany, it was 
morally obligatory upon neutrals to associate in punishing the 
offender, not as partisans of either side, but as defenders of 

Neither House nor Roosevelt had any effect upon Bryan. 
When, on November 23, 1914, the evacuation of Vera Cruz was 
completed, the fact was proclaimed by the Administration press 
as conclusive evidence that force was no longer necessary in 
dealing with the Mexicans. When General Wotherspoon, who 
had succeeded Wood as Chief of Staff, was retired, Scott 
replaced him. 

This appointment was unwelcome to the army, and to the 
advocates of preparedness. While Scott was a kindly gentleman 
and a friend of Wood's, he was in no sense the choice of the 
General Staff or of the Service. To many, his sole qualification 
seemed to be a fine record as an Indian fighter. No sooner had 
he been appointed, however, than it became quite clear that he 
was ardently in sympathy with Wood, and in no sense 
sympathetic with Bryan. 

The prompt rejection by the Wilhelmstrasse, in the early 
autumn, of the proposal to form a league of nations, showed the 
Internationalists that there was slight chance of Germany 
changing her attitude, until she had been beaten into a more 
reasonable mood. And although the military situation had 
reached a deadlock, Gerard reported Ger- 

* House, Vol. l,p. 300. 


many not only undiscouraged, but still expecting to win the 

Unable to embolden Wilson to overrule Bryan on the 
question of military preparedness, House again undertook to 
play on his fears. Of a conference between them on November 
25th, he wrote: "I insisted that Germany would never forgive us 
for the attitude we have taken in the war and, if she is 
successful, she will hold us to account, and I spoke again of our 
unpreparedness, and how impartial Mr. Bryan was. I urged the 
need of our having a large reserve force. ... I advised him to pay 
less attention to his domestic policy and greater attention to the 
welding together of the two western Continents." Here House 
also resorted to a little flattery by telling Wilson that the Federal 
Reserve Act was his greatest constructive work, and was the 
thing that would stand out and make his Administration a 
notable one. "Now," added House, "I would like you to place 
beside that great measure, the constructive international policy 
which you have already started by getting the ABC nations to 
act as arbitrators at Niagara. The time has come for you to show 
the world that friendship, justice, and kindness are more potent 
than the mailed fist. ... In order to do this, America must have 
not only the great Merchant Marine that is to come into being 
under the bill which already has been introduced in Congress, 
but she must have an adequate potential military strength. " 

He then cited the cases of Italy and Roumania, pointing out 
what lack of economical and military preparedness to grasp a 
great opportunity might cost. "Both of these countries," he 
declared, "will probably join the Allies as soon as their armies 
and shipping are ready. America must not only be prepared to 
join them, if she has to for self-protection, but must also be 
prepared to grasp the great opportunity that would come to her 
with a peace of exhaustion in Europe!" 

Here was House's best card. If America wished to serve 
humanity by enforcing peace upon the nations, and then 


dictating world policies, she must first be prepared with 
reasonable armament, to command the requisite respect. Surely 
Bryan could be made to see the necessity of this to give 
America influence, not for war, but for peace. It had been easy 
enough to win him over to the repeal of the Panama Act. 
Equally, he could probably be won over to the creation of an 
adequate military establishment, so long as it was to be utilized 
only in self-defense and in the interest of peace. 

Thus subtly the Internationalists made their plea. Again the 
vision of the world dictatorship he craved, was paraded before 
Wilson's eyes. He finally agreed that Wood should advocate not 
a large regular army, but a large reserve. After the country had 
been accustomed to this, and after it had been thoroughly 
aroused to the danger of hy-phenism, he would put forward the 
necessary legislation as an Administration measure, in the 
address he had agreed to make at the opening of the California 
Exposition in February, 1915. The Californians would naturally 
welcome this, in the face of the danger from Japan, and their 
support would tend to counteract the objections of the middle- 
western Bryanites and the Pacifists generally. 

Marburg recognized the danger of allowing his League to 
Enforce Peace to become identified in the popular mind with 
the preparedness campaign. That might evoke the opposition of 
the Pacifists, and Bryan's League for World Peace. At his 
instance and Wood's, a group of New York gentlemen called, 
on December 1st, a conference of preparedness advocates to 
found the National Security League as an agency for 
cooperation with the League to Enforce Peace. Resolutions 
were passed that, pending the formation of an international 
association for peace, adequate legislation for purposes of 
international protection and national defense was desirable. To 
give the League a nonpartisan aspect, Joseph H. Choate, 
Republican, and Alton B. Parker, late Democratic presidential 
candidate, were made honorary president and vice-president, 
respectively, with Robert Bacon, late Ambassador to France, as 


president. The League at once pressed Congress for the 
necessary military legislation.* 

These facts explain the tolerance by Wilson of Wood's bold 
advocacy of a policy seemingly opposed to that of the 
President. Wood was definitely aiding Wilson in overcoming 
Bryan's supine pacifism.** 

House next addressed himself to the task of reducing Page 
to submission. He had already, on October 29th, warned him 
against his attacks on Bryan. In vain Page defended himself — 
he was only trying to hold Britain and America together — an 
essential to the world's welfare. Nevertheless, on December 4, 
1914, House wrote him that both Bryan and Lansing had 
complained of his criticisms, and that he must mend his ways. 

Page saw that he had, in effect, been twice reprimanded. "I 
am trying my best, God knows, to keep the way as smooth as 
possible," he protested. His life was now one of pure tragedy. 
Despite the forces working against him, he sought vainly, by 
eloquent and unremitting appeals, to influence and guide the 
man in whom he had reposed his faith. He had become, 
perhaps, the most pathetic figure in American diplomatic 

Fortune has a way of distributing her favors in the most 
unexpected fashion. Just as Anglo-American relations and 
business in America were at their lowest ebb, the American 
industries adapted to the war needs of the belig-erents, began to 
show profits from the tremendous production of munitions. The 
immediate effect was to relieve the existing business 
depression, thereby coming to the rescue of a failing 
administration. The pressure on Wilson for resistance to the 
Entente blockade was correspondingly relieved. An industrial 
boom, directly due to the munitions trade, was under way. 
Wilson found himself, thereby, able to resist the demands of 
Bryan for mediation. His attitude toward the American 
munitions trade henceforth served to 

* Within a year, branches were established in all the States, 
and over 100,000 members enrolled. 

** In his Life Story of General Wood, Hagedorn missed 
entirely the secret of Wood's retention in office. 


estrange the Germans. They saw, with dismay, America's 
industry converted to the service of their opponents. "As a result 
of the traffic in munitions," says Bernstorff, "feeling in 
Germany has turned sharply against the United States." 

Bryan protested in vain to Wilson. Finally the German 
Government, perhaps at Bryan's suggestion, undertook to 
relieve the situation by an adroit attempt to play upon Wilson's 
known desires to dictate the terms of peace. Bern-stroff 
insinuated that Wilson must divest Germany's opponents of the 
advantage which American munitions were giving them, before 
negotiations looking to peace, and Germany's acceptance of a 
league of nations, could be opened with any prospect of 
success. The nationalization of munitions manufacture was 
actually proposed by Bryan, and approved by Wilson at this 

Whatever may have been Bryan's desires, Wilson and House 
had, of course, no serious intention of crippling the Allies. The 
industrial prosperity resulting from the growing munitions 
trade, after the "hard times" of the past year, was not only 
making votes for Wilson, but was lessening the dissatisfaction 
with the Entente restrictions on exports to neutrals. 



Wilson's Second Annual Message. Proclaims America the 
Champion of Peace. Advocates a Great Merchant Marine in 
Order Better to Serve Mankind Upon the Coming of Peace. 
Houston Critical. The General 


WHEN THE TIME came for Wilson to deliver his second 
annual message to Congress, December 8, 1914, he 
saw that his principal task was to placate Bryan. 
Opening with the declaration that the party pledges had been 
fulfilled, he rose to a peroration in which he declared America 
"the champion of peace and concord," charged with the trust of 
serving mankind. As the representative of a great people, "his 
thought was not alone of them, but of their duty to mankind!" 

The object of his policy of neutrality, and his purpose to 
make himself mediator and dictator of the world, was fully 
disclosed in a passage designed to appeal to the European 

"Allow me to speak with great plainness and directness 
upon this great matter, and to avow my convictions with deep 
earnestness. I have tried to know what America is, what her 
people think, what they are, what they most cherish and hold 
dear. I hope that some of their finer passions are in my own 
heart, — some of the great conceptions and desires which gave 
birth to this Government, and which have made the voice of 
this people a voice of peace and hope and liberty among the 
peoples of the world; and that, speaking my own thoughts, I 
shall, at least in part, speak theirs also, however faintly and 
inadequately, upon this vital matter. 

"We are at peace with all the world. No one who speaks 
counsel based on fact, or drawn from a just and candid inter- 


pretation of realities, can say that there is reason to fear that, 
from any quarter, our independence or the integrity of our 
territory is threatened. Dread of the power of any other nation, 
we are incapable of. We are not jealous of rivalry in the fields 
of commerce, or of any other peaceful achievement. We mean 
to live our own lives as we will; but we mean also to let live. 
We are, indeed, a true friend to all the nations of the world; 
because we threaten none, covet the possessions of none, desire 
the overthrow of none. Our friendship can be accepted, and is 
accepted, without reservation, because it is offered in a spirit 
and for a purpose which no one need ever question or suspect. 
Therein lies our greatness. We are the champions of peace and 
of concord. 

"And we should be very jealous of this distinction which we 
have sought to earn. Just now we should be particularly jealous 
of it, because it is our dearest present hope that this character 
and reputation may presently, in God's providence, bring us an 
opportunity such as has seldom been vouchsafed any nation, the 
opportunity to counsel and obtain peace in the world, and 
reconciliation and a healing settlement of many a matter that 
has cooled and interrupted the friendship of nations. This is the 
time above all others when we should wish and resolve to keep 
our strength by self-possession, our influence by preserving our 
ancient principles of action. " 

Posing as the friend of the downtrodden races, he advocated 
a greater measure of self-government for the Filipinos in the 
future. In view of the known purposes of Japan, this was 
justifiable dodging of party promises. Various measures of 
government ownership, to satisfy Bryan, were also 

The passage relating to the national defense, was plainly 
dictated, if not actually written and inserted by Bryan, in order 
to discredit Garrison, Wood, Roosevelt, and the National 
Security League, despite the opposing recommendations of the 
Secretary of War, and the known views of the General Staff. 

From the first we have had a clear and settled policy with 
regard to military establishments. We never have had, and 
while we retain our present principles and ideals, we never shall 
have, a large standing army. If asked, are you ready to defend 


yourselves? we reply, most assuredly, to the utmost; and yet we 
shall not turn America into a military camp. We will not ask 
our young men to spend the best years of their lives making 
soldiers of themselves. There is another sort of energy in us. It 
will know how to declare itself and make itself effective should 
occasion arise. And especially when half the world is on fire, 
we shall be careful to make our moral insurance against the 
spread of the conflagration very definite and certain and 
adequate indeed. 

"Let us remind ourselves, therefore, of the only thing we can 
do or will do. We must depend in every time of national peril, 
in the future as in the past, not upon a standing army, nor yet 
upon a reserve army, but upon a citizenry, trained and accus- 
tomed to arms. It will be right enough, right American policy, 
based upon our accustomed principles and practices, to provide 
a system by which every citizen who will volunteer for the 
training may be made familiar with the use of modern arms, the 
rudiments of drill and maneuver, and the maintenance and 
sanitation of camps. We should encourage such training and 
make it a means of discipline which our young men will learn 
to value. It is right that we should provide it not only, but that 
we should make it as attractive as possible, and so induce our 
young men to undergo it at such times as they can command a 
little freedom, and can seek the physical development they 
need, for mere health's sake, if for nothing more. Every means 
by which such things can be stimulated is legitimate, and such a 
method smacks of true American ideas. It is right, too, that the 
National Guard of the States should be developed and 
strengthened by every means which is not inconsistent with our 
obligations to our own people, or with the established policy of 
our Government. And this, also, not because the time or the 
occasion specially calls for such measures, but because it 
should be our constant policy to make these provisions for our 
national peace and safety. 

"More than this, proposed at this time, permit me to say, 
would mean merely that we had lost our self-possession, that 
we had been thrown off our balance by a war with which we 
have nothing to do, whose causes can not touch us, whose very 
existence affords us opportunities of friendship and 
disinterested service, which would make us ashamed of any 
thought of hostility or fearful preparation for trouble. This is 
assuredly the opportunity for which a people and a government 
like ours 


were raised up, the opportunity not only to speak but actually to 
embody and exemplify the counsels of peace and amity, and the 
lasting concord which is based on justice and fair and generous 

"A powerful navy we have always regarded as our proper 
and natural means of defense; and it has always been of defense 
that we have thought, never of aggression or of conquest. But 
who shall tell us now what sort of a navy to build? We shall 
take leave to be strong upon the seas, in the future as in the past; 
and there will be no thought of offense or of provocation in that. 
Our ships are our natural bulwarks. When will the experts tell 
us just what kind we should construct — and when will they be 
right for ten years together, if the relative efficiency of craft of 
different kinds and uses continues to change as we have seen it 
change under our very eyes in these last few months? 

"But I turn away from the subject. It is not new. There is no 
need to discuss it. We shall not alter our attitude toward it 
because some amongst us are nervous and excited. We shall 
easily and sensibly agree upon a policy of defense. The question 
has not changed its aspect, because the times are not normal. 
Our policy will not be for an occasion. It will be conceived as a 
permanent and settled thing, which we will pursue at all 
seasons, without haste, and after a fashion perfectly consistent 
with the peace of the world, the abiding friendship of States, 
and the unhampered freedom of all with whom we deal. Let 
there be no misconception. The country had been misinformed. 
We have not been negligent of national defense. We are not 
unmindful of the great responsibility resting upon us. We shall 
learn and profit by the lesson of every experience and every 
new circumstance; and what is needed will be adequately 

It was in the part of the message relating to the trade 
opportunities offered by the war, and to the upbuilding of the 
American Merchant Marine, however, that Wilson spoke most 

How are we to carry our goods to the empty markets of which I 
have spoken, if we have not the ships? How are we to build up 
a great trade, if we have not the certain and constant 


means of transportation upon which all profitable and useful 
commerce depends? And how are we to get the ships, if we 
wait for the trade to develop without them? To correct the 
many mistakes by which we have discouraged and all but de- 
stroyed the merchant marine of the country, to retrace the steps 
by which we have, it seems almost deliberately, withdrawn our 
flag from the seas, except where, here and there, a ship of war 
is bidden carry it, or some wandering yacht displays it, would 
take a long time and involve many detailed items of legislation 
and the trade which we ought immediately to handle would 
disappear or find other channels, while we debated the items. 

"Hence the pending shipping bill, discussed at the last ses- 
sion, but as yet passed by neither House. In my judgment, such 
legislation is imperatively needed, and can not wisely be 
postponed. The Government must open these gates of fade, and 
open them wide; open them before it is altogether profitable to 
open them, or altogether reasonable to ask private capital to 
open them at a venture." 

Herein Wilson's purpose was unequivocally revealed. 
While the merchant marines of Britain and France were making 
the war against the Central Allies possible, in a life and death 
struggle that was absorbing all their energies, America was to 
create, with Congressional subsidies, a commercial agency with 
which to dominate the economic life of the worldl If Wilson's 
advice were heeded, the impoverished belligerents would find, 
when a peace of exhaustion came, a rich and vital America, 
relatively more powerful than before! 

Wilson had not read the message to the Cabinet. "When I 
heard it, I had very mingled feelings," says Houston, who, in 
his diary, criticizes harshly Wilson's economic policies with 
respect to water rights, forests, the public domain, rural credits, 

Reflecting the attitude of the Internationalists, Houston 
went on to say: 

"I did not feel easy over the President's remarks on national 
defense. I agreed that 'in time of peace' the American people 
would be indisposed to prepare for war, 


or to have a great standing army. I agreed that we are now 
(1914) at peace with all the world, that our independ-ence is not 
now threatened, that we intend to live our own lives and that we 
want nobody's territory; but I could not forget that half the 
world was afire, and I could not assent to the view that the war 
was one 'whose causes cannot touch us.' I was particularly 
disturbed by the declaration that we must depend, in time of 
peril, not upon a standing army, nor yet upon a reserve army, 
but 'upon a citizenry trained and accustomed to arms.' I assented 
to the view that we should have a trained 'citizenry,' and I was 
far from being partial to a large standing army, but in the 
circumstances I thought we should have something more than 
our small regular army, scarcely more than a respectable police 
force in number, and that we should not depend on volunteers. I 
thought we ought to enlarge our army, provide for the training 
of more officers, develop a large reserve force, improve the 
National Guard, and lay the foundations for an adequate supply 
of equipment, munitions, and big and little guns." 

How could Wilson expect Great Britain, "The Mistress of 
the Seas," to regard with complacence the proposal to create a 
great American Merchant Marine for the obvious purpose of 
securing to America, during the war, the ocean trade of the 
world? He seems not to have realized that such a proposal was 
bound to arouse hostility in Britain, at the very time when her 
cooperation was essential to the formation of a league of 

The British were not alone in holding much of Wilson's appeal 
sheer sophistry. To many Americans, the message seemed 
heartlessly selfish, materialistic, and utterly lacking in idealism, 
apace with the Wilson-Bryan anti-British policy. Yet Wilson 
appears to have ignored the fact that he was rendering 
impossible the achievement of his own object. Nor would 
Germans or Scandinavians accept his political dictatorship, 
backed by a vast Merchant Marine, since this could only mean 
American economic domination. It must be concluded, 
therefore, that the message was woefully lacking in 



Wood Reprimanded. The Gardiner "Preparedness 

Bill." A New German Proposal. Wilson Ready to 

Proceed with the Formation of a League of Nations. 

IN HIS ANNUAL message, the President had praised Wood's 
training camps, "but," says Hagedorn, "he had swept aside 
with eloquent sophistry the agitation for preparedness." 
There was, in the passage relating to the National Defense, a 
shiftiness, a Jesuitical adroitness, an unctuous insincerity, 
which persuaded countless young men, with youth's impatience 
of cant, that there was no leadership for them in the White 
House on the path of national duty, strength, and straight- 

The country was now, for the first time, to see a ranking 
General take part in a campaign, opposed to the express policy 
of the Administration. To counteract Wilson's statements, 
Wood proceeded, under the auspices of the Merchant's 
Association in New York, to address fifteen hundred young 
men on the urgent need of preparation for defense, an action for 
which he was immediately assailed by irate pacifists. An 
example follows: * 

"New York, December 6, 1914- 
"Dear Colonel House: — 

"As I am writing you at the White House, I shall venture to 
say to you that I think General Leonard Wood's address to the 
Merchants' Association and others respecting unpreparedness of 
our army, most unsuitable, and also reflecting upon the 
President's magnificent presentation of the whole situation in 
his address to Congress. 

"I hope that he may be promptly called down. 

* Paraphrased from Hagedorn's further comments. 


"I cannot tell you how profoundly I was stirred by the Presi- 
dent's address and by the deep and widespread impression it 
made. I should have liked to write to him to gratify my en- 
thusiasm, but I have the impression that in the press of such 
vitally important state problems, he has not had the time to see 
the later letters I wrote. I should not want to burden him, much 
less intrude. . . . 

"Very truly yours, 

"George Foster Peabody. " 

To satisfy the pacifists, Garrison was directed to reprimand 
Wood, which he did privately, and in the most tactful way. A 
great opportunity to utilize public opinion in behalf of the army, 
he wrote, might be lost if the public gained the impression that 
military men were pushing the matter. Although Wood 
thereafter shunned newspaper reporters, his efforts continued 
without interruption. The Gardiner Bill, introduced shortly in 
the House with Garrison's approval, provided not only for an 
increase in the regular establishment, but for the reserve agreed 

On December 15,1914, Bernstorff presented the German 
case for the suppression of the American munitions trade, to 
Bryan. When Bryan saw that Wilson was not to be tricked by 
German hints of future entry into a League of Nations, into 
limiting the American munitions trade, his impatience with the 
President's persistent refusal to offer mediation knew no 
bounds; and he urged that he be allowed to visit Europe as an 
official emissary, to that end. 

Fearful lest Bryan might prematurely stir up an irresistible 
sentiment for peace, Wilson directed House to reopen 
negotiations at once. Accordingly, House, after communicating 
with Grey, invited Bernstorff to lunch with him on December 
17th, in order to feel him out; and was notified three days later 
by the British Ambassador in Washington, that Grey believed 
the Allies might welcome a proposal of peace, embracing an 
indemnity to Belgium, and a satisfactory plan for a general 

The President was much elated," says House, "and wanted 
to know whether I could go to Europe as early as the coming 


Intelligence from Berlin, however, now showed that 
Germany had no idea of entering seriously into peace ne- 
gotiations. There were, moreover, strong indications that the 
Wilhelmstrasse was planning something new. "The prospects of 
peace seem very dim," wrote Gerard to House. He thought the 
"plain people," and the Socialists of every land, were going to 
be "very sick of the business" in about three months. "Then we 
hope to see you here in the role of the angel of peace. " Having 
discovered that Bemstorff was merely toying with House, Grey 
and Spring-Rice declared a visit useless. 

"Returning to the White House," wrote House on December 
23, 1914, "I found the President anxiously awaiting me. After 
telling him what had passed, we discussed what was best to do 
regarding Bemstorff, and we came to the conclusion that it 
would be well to leave him alone, until I had heard something 
direct from the Allies; and then we could put the question 
squarely up to Bemstorff by telling him I was ready to go to 
London, but he must not let me go, only to find Germany 
repudiating what he had said." 

The suspicions about the Germans were well founded. 
"From the beginning of November onwards," says von Tirpitz, 
"there had been discussions between the leading authorities of 
the Navy as to the possibility of a submarine campaign. On 
November 7th, 1914, the Chief of the Naval Staff brought 
forward for discussion, a draft of a declaration of the submarine 
blockade of the whole coast of Great Britain and Ireland. " 

The picture which Bemstorff paints of House at this time is 
a graphic one. 

"Mr. House, who lived in an unpretentious abode in New 
York, occupied a peculiar and very influential position at the 
White House. Bound to the President by intimate friendship, he 
has always refused to accept any Ministerial appointment, either 
at home or abroad, although he was only possessed of modest 
means, and could certainly have had any post in the Cabinet or 
as an Ambassador that he had liked to choose. In this way he 
remained entirely in- 


dependent, and since President Wilson's entry into office, had 
been his confidential adviser in domestic, and particularly in 
foreign politics. As such, Colonel House had a position that is 
without precedent in American history. During a visit to 
London he is said to have described himself to the wife of an 
English Cabinet Minister, herself not favorably disposed toward 
America, as the 'eyes and ears of the President.' I know from 
my own experience how thoroughly and effectively he was able 
to inform his friend on the European situation, and how 
perfectly correctly, on the other hand, he interpreted Mr. 
Wilson's views. . . . 

"It was not easy to become more closely acquainted with 
Colonel House, whose almost proverbial economy of speech 
might be compared with the taciturnity of old Moltke. Unlike 
the majority of his fellow-nationals, and particularly his 
immediate fellow -country men of the Southern States, Colonel 
House, while possessing great personal charm and the courtesy 
that is characteristic of the Southern States, is reserved and 
retiring. It took a considerable time before I got to know this 
able and interesting man at all intimately. I did not become 
intimate with him until the time of the journey to Berlin already 
mentioned. Even then it was the earnest wish of Colonel House 
to obtain for his great friend, the chief credit of being the 
founder of peace. Colonel House was particularly well fitted to 
be the champion of the President's ideas. I have never known a 
more upright and honorable pacifist than he. He had a horror of 
war, because he regarded it as the contradiction of his ideals of 


the nobility of the human race." 

From this it is obvious that the German Government was 
convinced from the first that it might count on Wilson to keep 
the peace at any price. 



Roosevelt and Beck. Their Great Books. Wilson Learns of 
Germany's Submarine Plans. Bryan Threatens to Visit 
Europe as Mediator. Forestalled by Wilson. Marburg 
Demands a Change of Policy. House's so-called Peace 
Quest or Third Mission. The Law of Nations Violated by 
the "Lusitania" to Protect the American Super-Ambassador. 

WHEN THE BLIND and the halt began to limp home from 
the Grand Couronne, from the fetid marshes of East 
Prussia and the Marne, it became evident that a great 
change had come over war. Modern strife involved soldiers and 
non-combatants alike, nor was its toll limited to those maimed 
or destroyed in the conflict. Men and women who had never 
seen a battlefield, displayed, like the surviving veterans, deep 
and incurable wounds. The very soul of the world was scarred. 
No matter how necessary it might be, modern war was sheer, 
unadulterated hell. 

Yet there was something to be said for the very universality 
of its unmitigated horror. This new type of warfare, involving 
all mankind, portended, perhaps, the first far step toward peace. 
Certainly it was not reasonable to suppose that statesmanship 
would permit the American people to suffer all the 
demoralizing effects of the war, without the sobering influence 
of sharing in the common sacrifice of mankind.* Sooner or later 
Wilson, wise in discouraging over-hasty participation, must 
point out the Nation's moral duty. Then he might be forgiven 
for the politics he had played as a necessary means to his end. 

* The Immorality of Unneutral Neutrality, Wise, 
(International Digest). The Perils of the Coming Peace, Wise, 


In January, 1915, appeared two books, which were to exert a 
profound effect on American public opinion. Rosevelt's 
America and The World War was designed to refute the policy 
of "neutrality in thought" between right and wrong, and to 
advocate preparedness. Beck's The Evidence in the Case left 
little doubt that Germany had projected the war, and defined 
Pan-Germanism. It was, perhaps, the greatest single intellectual 
contribution to the cause of the Allies made by an American 
during the war. Together the two works undoubtedly expressed 
the moral convictions of an increasing number of people, who 
were opposed to the principle of "neutrality in thought as well 
as in deed." 

More and more Americans were coming to look upon a 
neutrality that claimed every material advantage for their 
country, while debarring it from any present sacrifice in the 
cause of humanity, as positively immoral. But still those who 
are prone to see wisdom in inaction because they either fear or 
know not how to act, were in the ascendant. "Uphold the 
President," urged these "sound citizens," Republicans and 
Democrats alike, "he knows best — Roosevelt is dangerous!" 

This, of course, was also the pro-German counsel-grist for 
Wilson's mill. Consequently, while Berlin spared no efforts to 
draw Italy and the Balkans into the Central Alliance, while 
winter gripped the world in its frigid embrace, and the trenches 
gradually sprawled out over Europe like the bleaching bones of 
a perishing generation, the contempt of the Pan-Germans for 
America grew. Not only Italy but the Balkans awaited 
America's action. If the United States joined the Allies, the 
outcome of the war was assured. European neutrals would not 
then be coerced by the Central Alliance, but could aid in 
overthrowing it. If, on the other hand, Wilson maintained 
American neutrality, they would have to govern themselves 
accordingly. Even Japan might abandon the Entente. 
Meantime, unmoved by consideration of world diplomacy, 
Wilson, like Marburg, still cherished the ideal of a world safe 
for democracy ! He had come to believe long 


since, that he was under a direct mandate from the Divine Ruler 
to achieve this ideal at no matter what cost in human suffering. 
Any political advantage to himself from such a course but fitted 
into the divine scheme. 

Roosevelt had, meanwhile, changed his views as to peace. 
He wrote Grey, on February 1, 1915, that he, too felt it must 
come from within Germany. "I am very much pleased," he 
added, "at what you say as to the evaporation of your former 
views about Hague Conventions and international treaties. I 
have been frantically denounced by the pacifists, because I 
would not enter into these treaties. But the reason was simply 
that I would not enter into any treaty I did not intend to keep, 
and think we could keep. I regard with horror the fact that this 
Government has not protested under the Hague Convention as 
to the outrageous wrongs inflicted upon Belgium. (I would 
have made the protest effective!) I agree absolutely with you 
that no treaty of the kind should hereafter even be made, unless 
the Powers signing it bind themselves to uphold its terms by 
force if necessary." 

The titles of Roosevelt's articles in the Outlook and 
Metropolitan Magazine reveal this attitude: Fear God and Take 
Your Own Part; A Sword for Defense; Uncle Sam's Only 
Friend is Uncle Sam; Dual Nationality; Preparedness. In each 
of these, he stressed with unflagging vehemence the 
fundamental verities. He showed that it was not a mere 
competition in letter-writing between "the honey-worded Mr. 
Wilson" and the "sophisticated Bernstorff," but that God was in 
the crisis, and that no adroitness of phrase or trick of diplomacy 
could get rid of Him. He showed that there could not be two 
kinds of Americans, but only such as believed wholly and 
singly in the United States. He let slip no opportunity to make 
his meaning clear. 

"Professional pacifists of the type of Messrs. Bryan, Jordan, 
and Ford, who, in the name of peace, preach doctrines that 
would entail not merely utter infamy, but utter disaster to their 
own country, never in practice venture to denounce concrete 
wrong by dangerous wrongdoers. . . . 


"These professional pacifists, through President Wilson, 
have forced the country into a path of shame and dishonor dur- 
ing the past eighteen months. Thanks to President Wilson, the 
most powerful of Democratic nations has refused to recognize 
the binding moral force of international public law. Our coun- 
try has shirked its clear duty. One outspoken and straight- 
forward declaration by this government against the dreadful 
iniquities perpetrated in Belgium, Armenia, and Servia, would 
have been worth to humanity a thousand times as much as all 
that the professional pacifists have done in the past fifty years. 

...Fine phrases become sickening, when they represent 
nothing whatever but adroitness in phrasemaking, with no 
intention of putting deeds behind the phrases." 2n 

The country had seen, long since, that poor old Rustem Bey 
was but a scapegoat, the least objectionable of all the Pan- 
German diplomats because the least harmful. Bern-storff was 
the real evil — he had been very clever. The actual conduct of 
German propaganda and conspiracies had been left to Dumba, 
Dernburg, Von Papen, Boy-Ed, Albert, and others, so that at 
least one representative of "Pan-Germany" might be secure 
against dismissal. When it was disclosed by the British Secret 
Service that German cruisers had been coaled at sea during the 
Autumn by Dr. Bunz and the Hamburg-American Line, the 
popular wrath knew no bounds. The Administration was 
compelled, in January, 1915, to take Biinz into custody as a 
dangerous alien, indict him for violation of the neutrality laws, 
and close the office of the Hamburg- American Line.* Biinz was 
but another vicarious sacrifice. It is plain from Bern-storffs 
subsequent statements, that similar indictments against many 
others would, have been justified, to say noth-ing of the 
dismissal of the entire German and Austro-Hungarian 
diplomatic staffs. 

All the while the German Government had been going forward 
with its plans. "On January 27th," says von Tirpz, "I w as 
invited to a conference with the Chancellor... I explained to him 
that we could only make progress against England by making 
her feel the effects of 

*Bunz was subsequently convicted. 


the war, and that in my view we should not be able to avoid 
adopting submarine warfare in one form or another I stated that 
I was not sufficiently au fait with the legal and political aspects 
of the question to make a final decision as to the most suitable 
form without further information. In this conversation the 
Chancellor did not, as a matter of principle, reject the 
possibility or necessity of a submarine campaign against enemy 
commerce. In his view, however political conditions made it 
impossible to take a decision before the spring or summer of 
1915. I was quite agreeable to such a postponement of the 
matter, as it had not yet been sufficiently worked out. Among 
other points, I thought it right to await the completion of the 
Flanders submarine fleet and of the dockyard installations 

The British and French Governments were fully informed of 
events, through their secret agents in Berlin, one of whom was 
in the Wilhelmstrasse itself. Marburg insisted once more that 
Bryan, who again desired to go abroad as a mediator, be 
forestalled by the sending of House to London, to assist Grey in 
overcoming the opposition to a league of nations, aroused by 
Wilson's Anti-British policy. It was decided, accordingly, to 
send House to London at once, and emphasize the fact that 
mediation was not being proposed. It was Wilson's desire 
merely "to serve as a channel for confidential communication, 
through which the belligerent nations might exchange views 
with regard to terms upon which the present conflict might be 
ended, and future conflicts rendered less likely." He particularly 
disclaimed any desire to dictate terms, or to play the part of 
judge. But according to House, Wilson asked him "to let Sir 
Edward Grey know his entire mind so he would know what his 
intentions were about everything," and said: "Let him know that 
while you are abroad, I expect to act directly through you and to 
eliminate all intermediaries. 

"I asked if it would be possible for him to come over to 
Europe in the event a peace conference could be arranged, and 
in the event he was invited to preside over the con- 


ference. He thought it would be well to do this, and that the 
American people would desire it. " 

House sailed from New York January 30, 1915, on board 
the Lusitania. The newspapers had it that he had 

gone abroad to assist Hoover in coordinating the work of 
Belgian relief, and, as this was a most convenient means of 
cloaking his real purpose, the story was encouraged. 

Immediately Marburg and the thirty or more statesmen, 
publicists, political scientists, scholars, professors, and 
international financiers who comprised the American Branch of 
the League to Enforce Peace, took definite steps looking to the 
adoption of a constitution, to be published as a preventive of a 
premature peace. 

The Wilhelmstrasse was, of course, fully informed of all 
this, saw plainly its danger to Germany, and the need of 
immediate action in self-defense. "On February 4, 1915," says 
von Tirpitz, "Admiral von Pohl, in concurrence with the 
Chancellor, submitted to the Emperor in Wilhelmshaven the 
war-zone and submarine declaration. This document proclaimed 
the waters round Great Britain and Ireland, including the 
Channel, as a war zone, and announced that every enemy 
merchantman found in that area would be destroyed, without it 
being in every case possible to avoid danger to the crew and 
passengers. Neutral ships, also, would be in danger if they 
navigated the proclaimed area, since, owing to the misuse of 
neutral flags ordered by the British Government, it would be in- 
evitable that neutrals should in fact suffer from attacks intended 
for enemy ships. For neutral vessels, the waters to the north of 
the Shetlands and a strip along the Dutch coast were left free." 


On February 4th Bernstorff was directed to present the 
declaration to Bryan at once. The blockade was to go into effect 
on the 18th. 

"I regarded it as my main duty," says Bernstorff, "when handing 
in this document, to recommend to the United States 
Government that they should warn all American citizens of the 
danger to the crews, passengers, and cargoes of hostile 
merchant ships moving within the war area from this 


time onwards. Further, I felt it necessary to draw attention to 
the advisability of an urgent recommendation that American 
shipping should keep clear of the danger zone, notwithstanding 
the express statement in the memorandum that the German 
naval forces had orders to avoid any interference with neutral 
vessels clearly recognizable as such. 

"Mr. Secretary Bryan was at first incredulous; he believed a 
submarine campaign of this nature to be unthinkable, and my 
statements to be merely bluff. The American Government 
therefore resolved to take no measures of precaution." 

* 27 

On the 6th House arrived in England. While passing 
through the waters adjacent to the British Isles, the Lusi-tania 
flew the American flag. No public explanation of the incident 
was made, but it would seem the Captain took this unusual step 
for the protection of House. Passengers later testified to his 
unusual nervousness, induced by the fact that submarines 
already were active off the mouth of the Mersey, but believed 
that he resorted to American colors to shield the person of the 
American envoy. The act was cited two months later, as excuse 
for the vessel's destruction. 

The news of House's arrival in London started a report that he 
had been sent by the President to make an effort to bring the 
combatants to terms. It was deemed necessary, therefore, for 
Wilson to publish an official denial. On the very day of this 
denial, House wrote the following letter to Wilson: 

" (Colonel House to the President) 
„ "London, February 9, 1915* 

Dear Governor: — 

"We arrived here Saturday afternoon, and I immediately ar- 
ranged a private conference with Grey for eleven o'clock Sun- 
day morning. We talked steadily for two hours, and then he 
insisted upon my remaining for lunch, so I did not leave until 

"We discussed the situation as frankly as you and I would 

* The German Ambassador was mistaken. Wilson and Bryan 
knew of the German plan. 


have done in Washington, and, as far as I could judge, there 
was no reservation. He said several times, 'I am thinking aloud 
so do not take what I say as final, but merely as a means of 
reasoning the whole subject out with you.' 

"I gave him your book, which pleased him, and he regretted 
that the only thing he could give you in return was a book he 
had written on angling. 

"We went into every phase of the situation, he telling me 
frankly the position the Allies were in, their difficulties, their 
resources, and their expectations. That part of it is not as en- 
couraging as I had hoped, particularly in regard to Italy and 
Rumania. There is no danger of their going with Germany, but 
there is considerable doubt whether they will go with the Allies. 
Germany's success has made them timid, and there is also 
difficulty in regard to Bulgaria. Up to now it has been 
impossible to harmonize the differences between Bulgaria and 
Serbia. Germany is making tremendous efforts at present to 
impress Italy and Rumania, to keep them from participating. If 
the differences between Bulgaria and Serbia could be adjusted, 
Rumania would come in at once, and so probably would 
Greece; but they are afraid to do so as long as Bulgaria is not 

"The difficulty with Russia is not one of men, but of trans- 
portation. They have not adequately provided for this, while 
Germany has to the smallest detail. It prevents them from 
putting at the front and maintaining, more than one and one half 
million or two million men. 

"The most interesting part of the discussion was what the 
final terms of settlement might be, and how the difficult ques- 
tion of armaments could be adjusted. . . . 

"He went into the discussion of what Russia and France 
would demand. I told him if France insisted upon Alsace- 
Lorraine, I would suggest that a counter-proposition should be 
made to neutralize them in some such way as Luxembourg now 
is. This would prevent the two (France and Germany) from 
touching anywhere, and they could only get at one another by 
sea. He thought that Russia might be satisfied with Con- 
stantinople, and we discussed that in some detail. 

"I let him know that your only interest was in bringing them 
together, and that you had no desire to suggest terms, and that 
what I was saying was merely my personal view, expressed to 
him in confidence and as between friends. 


"There was one thing Grey was fairly insistent upon, and 
that was that we should come into some general guaranty for 
world-wide peace. I evaded this by suggesting that a separate 
convention should be participated in by all neutrals as well as 
the present belligerents, which should lay down the principles 
upon which civilized warfare should in the future be conducted 
In other words it would merely be the assembling at The Hague 
and the adopting of rules governing the game. He did not accept 
this as our full duty, but we passed on to other things. . . . 

"I am making a point to influence opinion over here favor- 
ably to you and to America. There has been considerable 
criticism of us, and I was told that at a public meeting the other 
day, when the name of the United States was mentioned, there 
was some hissing. I find, though, that intelligent people over 
here are wholly satisfied with your course. I took tea yesterday 
with one of the editorial writers of the Times and dined with the 
Managing Editor last night. Tonight I dine with our friend, A. 
G. Gardiner. I shall write you about that later. 

"Affectionately yours, 

"E. M. HOUSE." 



"Strict Accountability" and Double Dealings. The 
American Legion. The Defeat of the "Gardiner Pre- 
paredness Bill." A Threatened Break with Garrison. 

So STUPID did the new policy proclaimed by the German 
Government seem to the British, that few of them took it 
seriously. Scouting the idea that submarines could destroy 
their merchant marine, they were not much alarmed. In fact, 
they rather welcomed the proposed blockade because of its 
certain effect on America. The existing hostility of some 
commercial interests toward the Allies, might be expected to 
give way to enmity against the Central Powers. 

The storm of protest aroused in America by the German 
proclamation, indicated that, if a vessel were sunk with the loss 
of American lives, public opinion would compel Congress to 
declare war. Since this would defeat Wilson's whole scheme, 
something had to be done to guard against an event which both 
Page and Gerard predicted. Therefore, on February 12th, 
Wilson caused Bryan to despatch a note to the German 

'This Government has carefully noted the explanatory state- 
ment issued by the Imperial German Government at the same 
time with the proclamation of the German Admiralty, and takes 
this occasion to remind the Imperial German Government very 
respectfully that the Government of the United States is open to 
none of the criticisms for unneutral action, to which the 
German Government believes the governments of certain other 
neutral nations have laid themselves open; that the Government 
of the United States has not consented or acquiesced in any 
measures which may have been taken by the other belligerent 
nations in the present war, which operate to restrain 


neutral trade, but has, on the contrary, taken in all such mat ters 
a position which warrants it in holding those governments 
responsible in the proper way for any untoward effects upon 
American shipping, which the accepted principles of interna- 
tional law do not justify; and that it, therefore, regards itself as 
free, in the present instance, to take with a clear conscience and 
upon accepted principles the position indicated in this note. 

"If the commanders of German vessels of war should act 
upon the presumption that the flag of the United States was not 
being used in good faith, and should destroy on the high seas an 
American ship or the lives of American citizens, it would be 
difficult for the Government of the United States to view the act 
in any other light than as an indefensible violation of neutral 
rights, which it would be very hard indeed to reconcile with the 
friendly relations now so happily subsisting between the two 

"If such a deplorable situation should arise, the Imperial 
German Government can readily appreciate that the Govern- 
ment of the United States would be constrained to hold the 
Imperial German Government to a strict accountability for such 
acts of their naval authorities, and to take any steps it might be 
necessary to take, to safeguard the American lives and property, 
and to secure to American citizens the full enjoyment of their 
acknowledged rights on the high seas." 27 

The Government of the United States now did no more in 
the case of Germany, than it had done in the case of the Allies 
during the Autumn, except to urge Germany to give those 
assurances which Wilson and Bryan wished to publish to the 
American people, in order to silence their protests. But Bryan 
had no idea of occupying what might be construed as a partisan 
position. Therefore, on the same day, he despatched a note to 
the British Government also, warning it against further illegal 
actions. This Wilson was willing enough to have him do, since 
it could not fail to make him appear non-partisan, while it 
would not disturb the British when House explained its purpose. 

Oddly enough, the German ship Appam appeared in 
Hampton Roads, three days after the despatch of these two 
notes, after an exploit declared by Lansing to be a "marvelous 
achievement." Submitting to internment, Lieutenant 


Berg and his heroic crew appealed greatly to the imagina- 
tion of the American public. The ship was interned, and her 
case referred to the courts. 

"On the evening of February 15th," says von Tirpitz, "the 
Chief of the Naval Staff quite unexpectedly received from the 
Emperor the order not to begin the campaign as announced on 
February 18th, but to await a special order for its introduction, 
and on the same day, February 15th, the submarine 
commanders were instructed to spare neutral vessels in the 
barred zone. At the same time a telegram arrived at General 
Headquarters from the Chief of the Cabinet, to the effect that 
the Emperor required an immediate telegraphic answer whether, 
and to what extent, it could be guaranteed that England would 
be forced to modify her attitude, within six weeks of the 
opening of the campaign. My own attitude was to be mentioned 
in the answer. " 

Unknown to von Tirpitz, Dumba had sounded Bryan, and 
advised the Wilhelmstrasse that if it would cooperate to force 
England to accept mediation, the American Secretary of State 
would resign, and oppose Wilson's reelection, rather than 
approve a resort to force by the United States. 

Bryan's plan was a simple one. Germany must take 
immediate steps to insure against any loss of American life or 
property as a result of her new policy. At the same time, Wilson 
must be told that, if the British Government would let certain 
foodstuffs through, the German Government might be willing 
to abandon its submarine blockade. Obviously such a proposal 
would compel Wilson either to act, or disclose to the world that 
he was not really in favor of mediation. 

With the information furnished by Dumba, the German 
Foreign Office had interpreted Bryan's note to mean no more 
than what Bryan really intended it to mean. He had said 
virtually the same thing on October 22nd last to the British. 
Notwithstanding what the Allies had done, the American 
Government had felt "constrained" to do noth-ing but write 
notes. It was reasoned, therefore, that Wil-son and Bryan had 
no intent of holding the belligerents 


accountable for the violation of neutral rights in any way, 
except by arbitration. Therefore, while the German Gov- 
ernment had no idea of finally rescinding its orders, it did not 
fail to see that a splendid opportunity had been presented to 
justify its blockade. Accordingly, in a note dated February 16, 
1915, after reasserting its position, it said: 

"If the American Government, by reason of that weight 
which it is able and entitled to cast into the balance which de- 
cides the fate of peoples, should succeed even now in 
removing those causes which make the present action of the 
German Government an imperious duty; if the American 
Government in short, should succeed in inducing the Powers at 
war with Germany to abide by the terms of the Declaration of 
London, and to permit the free importation into Germany of 
foodstuffs and raw material, the Imperial Government would 
recognize in such action a service of inestimable value, tending 
to introduce a spirit of greater humanity into the conduct of the 
war, and would willingly draw its own conclusions from the 
resulting new situation." 7 

Knowing that Bryan was cooperating with Bernstorff, 
Wilson suspected a trick. He therefore communicated the 
German proposal instantly to House. 

While the British public saw no danger in the blockade, 
Grey had understood its menace from the first, and he was now 
quick to see that, under such an agreement as that which Bryan 
and the Germans were proposing, Britain might have to carry 
on the war indefinitely. Therefore he agreed with House that 
Wilson should proceed at once to put forward what, coming 
from him, would appear as the proposal of a compromise 
between the belligerents, as a first step in the adjustment of their 
differences. In doing this, he could not fail to gain the 
cooperation of Bryan and his anti-British followers, who would 
never suspect that he was acting in concert with the Entente. 
Aside from this, the proposal could be made in such a way as to 
deceive the Germans into believing that the President's attitude 
was still a strictly impartial one, and at the same time satisfy the 
demand for mediation. 

As anticipated by Grey and House, Bryan was com- 


pletely taken in by Wilson. Washington's birthday was selected 
as a fitting occasion for the President to renew his apparent 
efforts to bring about peace. Therefore, on February 22, 1915, a 
note was despatched to both the Entente and Central Allies, in 
which Wilson took exactly the same position he had taken in 
the note of May, 1913, to the Mexicans, when Bryan had set out 
to heal the strife of their contending factions. The belligerents in 
Europe were requested "through reciprocal concessions to find 
a basis for agreement, which will relieve neutral ships engaged 
in peaceful commerce from the great dangers which they would 
incur in the high seas adjacent to the coasts of the belligerents." 
Moreover, there was outlined in detail what each country should 
do for the "common interests of humanity." Since the Germans 
averred that the submarine zone regulation was merely 
retaliation for the British attempt to starve non-combatants, it 
was suggested that if the British Government would permit 
foodstuffs to pass, Germany ought to give up her illegal 

Meanwhile Wilson's "Super- Ambassador" had, with the aid 
of Grey, been addressing himself diligently to the task assigned 
him. Boasting that not even Page knew with whom he was 
conferring, he went from this person to that, whispering to them 
that no attention was to be paid to anti-British sentiments in 
America, to Bryan's effusions, to Page's opposition to a league 
of nations, or to the President's apparent impartiality as between 
the belligerents, since he was, in fact, the friend of Britain. 
Surely they must see that should he disclose his real feelings, 
Germany would never join the league, while all the anti-British 
and pro-Germans in America would combine with the hide- 
bound Nationalists, to prevent the United States from unit-ing 
with Britain to govern the world! 

It seems absurd to imagine that the German diplomats did 
not know what House was doing in London. Whatever may 
have been the purpose of the Wilhelmstrasse, when, on 
February 17th, it fell in with Bryan's suggestion, certain it is the 
Naval party in Germany had no idea of being caught by Grey's 
trick. Nor is it likely that the Wilhelm- 


strasse ever intended to do more than justify the submarine 
blockade in the eyes of the world by placing Great Britain in 
the position of being unwilling to abandon her efforts to starve 
non-combatant populations. At any rate, on February 28th, 
without waiting for Britain's action, the German Government 
answered Wilson, in a note which was no more than a self- 
serving brief designed to place Great Britain in the wrong. 
Thus, after professing to agree in terms with the American 
position, it still upheld the necessity of the blockade. Moreover 
it added various raw materials to the list of free commodities 
which Wilson had proposed. 

What House had been saying about London had been 
interesting to his hearers, but the German answer to Wilson 
placed him at a serious disadvantage. It was only too plain that 
Germany had no serious purpose of entering into peace 
negotiations until forced to do so, and that so long as she had 
any hope of winning the war, she would not enter a league of 
nations. Having conferred with Grey, Tyrrell, Bryce, Asquith, 
Balfour, Northcliffe, Curzon, Burns, Brooks, and others, House 
had abandoned the idea of going to Berlin. Before going home, 
however, he must see the King, and assure him, too, of 
Wilson's ultimate purpose, and friendship for Britain. 

From King George the "Super-Ambassador" got little 
encouragement. The King did not take the league of nations 
idea seriously. House says that he asked him why he did not 
speak to the British public in the forceful manner in which he 
had talked privately regarding the war and war measures, and 
that the King replied he had not done so, for the reason that his 
distinguished cousin, the Kaiser, had talked so much, and had 
made such a fool of himself, that he had a distaste for that kind 
of publicity. Then, too, he added, this was a different sort of 
monarchy, and he did not desire to intrude himself in such 

Throughout the winter of 1915, Wood continued his efforts 
to prepare the country to defend itself. His appeals were simple, 
undramatic, overwhelmingly sincere. He was not in the 
accepted sense an orator, but his fervor and a 


certain indubitable integrity gave his words persuasive power. 
He had great skill, moreover, in adjusting his words to the 
mentality of his audience, and even as he stirred universities 
and chambers of commerce, he set pulses fluttering in schools 
and women's clubs. His words were a call to national service. 
Young and old alike felt the stir to arise and respond. 

As the weeks dragged on and it became evident the Ad- 
ministration was not supporting the Gardiner Bill, a popular 
movement was developed in its support. "It was comparable in 
American history," says Hagedorn, "only to the revolt in the 
Northern States during the '50's against the reactionary or 
drifting policies of the Government in Washington on the 
slavery question. It was an uprising not against the authority of 
the President, but against his leadership; a stirring of the 
consciences of men against what appeared to be a callous 
disregard of the Nation's traditions, of her prestige in the world, 
of common precautions regarding the national defense. 
"The feeling behind the movement was intense. The 
accumulated resentment against the cant, the sham, the backing 
and filling of the President's Mexican policy was in it. The 
feeling that the administration had no regard for the dignity of 
the Nation, no sense of shame for promises unfulfilled, no 
respect for the fine tradition that, among gentlemen, words 
meant what they said. To straightforward men who regarded 
shiftiness in personal relations as the unpardonable sin, and 
took pride in the tradition of American forthrightness and 
courage in international relations, it seemed unbearable that in 
the greatest crisis in the world's history their country should be 
so tortuously led." Wilson's lofty motives did not diminish the 
indignation of other Americans, with idealism no less sincere. 
The curious jumble of his words and acts left the impression of 
a man wanting to be greater than his stature, and who lacked a 
sharp sense of distinction between right and wrong. 

New preparedness organizations sprang up, and Wood 
supplied them with irrefutable data. Young men came to 


him, asking what they might contribute to the cause, or laid 
before him some plan of their own. No ardent soul appealed to 
him in vain. One group calling themselves the American 
Legion, proposed to establish an unofficial reserve, enrolling 
immediately men of military age who had had military training, 
or possessed peculiar qualifications in one field or another 
which might be turned to the benefit of the country in case of 
war; automobile drivers, telegraph and telephone operators, 
bridge builders, mechanics of all sorts; in time of peace a list, 
and nothing more; in time of war, a source of perhaps three or 
four hundred thousand classified volunteers. 

Wood approved the idea "unofficially," and lent his aide, 
Capt. Gordon Johnson, as military adviser. Personal letters 
brought an enthusiastic response. Roosevelt joined with his four 
sons; Luke Wright, Dickinson, Stimson, all former Secretaries 
of War, enrolled. 

The public announcement late in February, 1915, brought a 
thousand volunteers the first week. It brought, also, a sharp 
attack from the pacifists. From the department came an excited 
enquiry. The Secretary of War, it seemed, knew nothing about 
this plan for the organization of a reserve army. Clearly, ran the 
murmur in Washington, Wood had been "indiscreet." The fact 
was that the sponsors of the American Legion had laid their 
plans before the Secretary who, cooperating with Wilson, had 
pigeon-holed them. Garrison was directed by Wilson, still 
anxious to mollify the pacifists, to issue an order that officers of 
the army should refrain "from giving out for publication any 
interview, statement, discussion, or article on the military 
situation in the United States or abroad." 

The storm which had been brewing over the American 
Legion now broke. Wood explained in vain that Roosevelt had 
no connection with the organization other than as a volunteer 
enrolled for service in the proposed reserve. The Legion, he 
said, was conducting not mere propaganda, but a card index 
system which would be extremely valuable in emergency. 
Bryan objected to any such enterprise being carried on at the 
expense of the Government; so that four 


days after the order mentioned, Garrison was compelled to issue 
a new order, directing the Legion to remove its offices from the 
Army building in New York, as a further rebuke to Wood. 

Knowing Wilson's real wishes, Wood did not take the 
Secretary's order seriously. Throwing himself on the mercy of 
the reporters, he went ahead as before. 

There were angry murmurs in administrative circles that 
"this man" was insubordinate. But the issue was not so simple 
as the adherents of the President affected to believe. On one 
side stood certain policies of national defense proposed by 
successive Secretaries of War, approved by three Presidents, 
adopted by Congress as the law of the land; on the other was 
authority, supported by no discernible principle, autocratic, 
arbitrary. The President himself was represented on both sides, 
with his words, on the one, demanding a "citizenry trained and 
accustomed to arms"; with his acts, on the other, discouraging 
all efforts to make a reality of his words. 

Despite the efforts of the National Security League and the 
American Legion, the Gardiner Bill went down to defeat in 
March. Other than an Act providing for a report on the 
"advisability of the acquisition by the Government of land for 
an aviation school and training ground," the incorporation of the 
Porto Rico regiment into the regular army, an appropriation of 
several million dollars for the defense of the Panama Canal, and 
of the wholly inadequate sum of $15,000 to send military 
observers to Europe, there was virtually no military legislation 
during the session of 1915. 83 This was a travesty of national 
defense. Bryan was, nevertheless, determined to permit nothing 
that might encourage a resort to force, while Wilson tried to 
convince the Germans that he had no hostile designs against 
them, to retain the pacifist and pro-German vote. 

"Secretary Garrison," says Houston, "for some time before 
April, 1915, had been showing signs of restiveness, out I was 
surprised when he came to see me, and told me that he was 
going to resign. He had his resignation written, and was set on 
sending it in. He told me that he had 


found that he was not in sympathy with the Administration. The 
atmosphere, he thought, was not good. It was too Bryanistic. 
There was a strong note of hostility to business. He was not in 
accord on Mexico. He resented the attitude on preparedness." 

Wilson was now to discover the two-edged nature of the 
German propaganda, which he and Bryan had tolerated. Having 
cooperated in the defeat of the Gardiner Bill, the German agents 
had naturally spared no efforts to defeat the shipping bill, which 
the Administration had put forward as a lure for the support of 
the industrial interests. In the early spring of 1915, therefore, 
things were not going any too well with Wilson. One thing only 
was highly favorable — the munitions trade was booming. 
Despite all the German propagandists could do, there was far 
less talk of the violation of American rights by the Entente. 



"The Freedom of the Seas," Proposed by House to Britain 

and Germany as a Solution. The Failure of House's Third 

Mission. The German Submarine Blockade Continues. 

German Opinions of Wilson and Bryan. 

THE ASTUTE German minds that had planned the war, had 
not staked the fate of their country on military victory. 
Should the plans of the General Staff fail, the worst 
consequences of defeat might still be averted by prolonging the 
strife until the economic organization of the world was so 
thoroughly disrupted as to leave the nominal victors powerless 
to dominate Germany. That would, in fact, give Germany the 

When advised that House had given up the idea of visiting 
Berlin, the German Government was fearful lest Wilson be 
discouraged by its note of February 20th to the extent of 
abandoning his efforts to bring about peace, and throwing in his 
lot with the Entente. This might well cause a Socialist revolt. 
Therefore, with no more intention now than before of seriously 
considering a peace, Zimmer-mann urged House, on March 
2nd, to come to Berlin, and induced Gerard to add his 

The danger of the British and French people being discouraged 
by a failure to overwhelm the Central Allies before another 
winter set in, was not imaginary. It was a contingency which 
Marburg, Wilson, and Grey could contemplate only with alarm. 
On their part, no effort could be spared to prevent the Entente 
from making a premature peace. Consequently, upon the receipt 
of the letters from Berlin offering an opening for further 
negotiations, it was decided to make still another attempt to lure 
the Wil-helmstrasse into an acceptance of a league of nations. 


The recent proposals of Bryan had suggested the bait to be 
employed. Couched in a high-sounding phrase, this was the 
doctrine of the "Freedom of the Seas." As explained by House, 
it implied the extension to the utmost limits of the old 
American doctrine of the exemption from capture of private 
property. Jefferson had advocated it as the best means to render 
unnecessary the maintenance of large armies and navies. It 
included the immunity from seizure of food cargoes, and of 
actual contraband in neutral bottoms. Nor were the merchant 
vessels of belligerents to be subject to seizure in enemy ports 
upon the declaration of war. Ocean-bound commerce was to be 
safe from interruption, even in the midst of a world-wide 
conflict. The immediate effect of an international acceptance of 
the doctrine would be to limit the present strife to a struggle 
between the armed forces of the belligerents, while in future 
wars the economic structure of civilization would survive 

The proposal was one eminently agreeable to "International 
Finance," even were it not first conceived in the mind of a 
banker. More than that, its acceptance in the present emergency 
would relieve both the British Isles and America from all 
danger at the hands of Germany, and place the Central Allies at 
the mercy of an Anglo-American combine. 30 In the midst of a 
life and death struggle between the Pan-Germans and 
"Britannia" — one which had been commenced by the former 
with the avowed purpose of overthrowing British seapower — 
those whose only hope of success was to dominate the sea, 
were to be asked to abandon the only means by which this 
could be done, and thereby sign their death warrant! 

Further, Wilson's proposal to Britain of a compromise was 
to be formally rejected, in a note calling attention to the fact that 
the German submarine blockade had not been abandoned. At 
the same time, having learned from House just how far it might 
go, the British Government was to cite the German submarine 
blockade as justification for the taking of neutral vessels into 
port, where they might be searched free of danger from 
destruction on the high seas. 


Contraband was to be seized and paid for at the contract price. 

This plan would, it was believed, nullify to a certain extent the 
effect of the submarine blockade, and at the same time impress 
the Germans with the irresistible power of the British Navy. 
Thus, the "freedom of the seas" might seem more desirable to 

After having apprised the King and others of the real 
purpose of his mission, and agreed with Grey on the course the 
latter was to pursue, to back him up in his dealings with the 
Germans, House proceeded on his way to Berlin. The State 
Department was immediately informed by the British Embassy 
that, by reason of the illegal practices of Germany, the Allies 
were driven to frame the retaliatory measures described, and a 
circular was published, on March 8th, giving the details of what 
was known as the "British Cotton Arrangement." On the nth 
and 13th, a British Order in Council and a French decree, 
respectively, put into effect the new restrictions. 

It was about this time that the German cruiser Eitel, with the 
crew of an American bark, sought internment in an American 
port. Even Lane was incensed by the "gall" of the thing. What 
on earth, he inquired, in a letter of March 13th, was the country 
coming to, in condoning what was no more nor less than piracy, 
as he saw it. The British were quick to take advantage of this 
offensive act. On March 15th, 1915, the British Government, 
pointing out that Germany had still not abandoned her 
submarine policy, formally refused the compromise suggested 
by Bryan, proposed by Wilson, and approved by Grey. 

The note erred in not stressing a clear distinction between 
Allied and German methods. Irrespective of the legality of 
either blockade, there was a difference in enforcement to be 
pointed out. The Allies were employing old methods — the 
Germans would never have argued that they could destroy a 
merchant vessel without notice, by a long distance torpedo 
projected from the shore, or even from a surface craft. Yet the 
moment it was admitted that it was necessary for a submarine to 
do this out of considera- 


tions of self-protection, that made the submarine itself nothing 
more than a long range projectile charged with other 
projectiles — something akin to shrapnel. It is not to be denied, 
however, that Britain had gotten the better of Germany, and that 
Wilson, House, and Grey had weakened Bryan's position. 

Utterly disgusted from the first with what they deemed the 
sheer sophistry of Wilson, the French had shown a disposition 
to leave to Grey negotiations of importance, common to the 
Allies. He seemed better fitted to deal with Wilson. Bacon and 
Herrick, both of whom, as American Ambassadors, had won the 
affectionate confidence of the French, had thoroughly 
discredited the confused policy of Wilson. Completely lacking 
in diplomatic ability, the present American Ambassador 
possessed little or no influence with the French Government. 
Looked upon in Washington as a mere "stop-gap," he had been 
purposely retained in office to insure against any political 
activities on the part of an American representative in Paris, 
such as those of Page in London, which might conflict with the 
President's hidden purposes. From his own reports, it is obvious 
that Sharp knew no more what was going on in Washington, 
than if he had been exiled in Kamchatka. 

Upon reaching Paris, House found that the French were out 
"to kill," and not to parley. Their idea was that unless Germany 
were crushed beyond the power of establishing a dominion over 
Europe, they might as well perish. Therefore the "Super- 
Ambassador" deemed it but a waste of time to talk of peace in 

After tarrying in Switzerland until Grey had published the 
British reply to Wilson's proposal of a compromise, the "Super- 
Ambassador" continued on his way. Arriving in Berlin March 
19, 1915, with his hook baited with the new proposal, he began 
at once to whip the political pools of Germany. 

Although his lure was one which could not deceive the 
hungriest fish in German waters, the diplomats of the Wil- 
helmstrasse rose, with simulated interest, to his casts. Yet they 
did not bite, but merely nosed the bait. In vain 


House angled first for Zimmermann, and then for the 
Chancellor himself. 

"But what shall navies be used for, if such a scheme as 
yours is adopted?" he was promptly asked by each of them. 

"For defense against invasion," replied House. 
Now the Germans could no longer doubt that House and 
Wilson were working hand-in-glove with Grey. But they were 
not foolish enough to disclose their discovery to House. 
Although they saw that the proposal which was being made to 
them was designed to seal the doom of Germany, they had been 
presented with a splendid opportunity to deceive Wilson into 
further delays, and, by professing interest in the new scheme, 
make it appear that the freedom of the seas was just what they 
wanted, so that Britain alone stood in the way of peace. 

"I believe," said the wily Chancellor to House at last, "that 
you have thrown the first thread across the chasm which bars us 
from peace." House, believing, in his vanity, that he had 
achieved the object of his mission, hastened back to London to 
report his success to Grey. With the aid of the latter, he now 
proposed to commit the British Government to their scheme in 
its entirety. 

"Imagine his vexation," says Smith, House's biographer, 
"when, upon his arrival in London, he encountered reports in 
the English newspapers of boastful speeches in favor of 'the 
freedom of the seas,' which had been delivered in the United 
States by Bernstorff and Dernburg, the former German Colonial 
Secretary and chief propagandist in America." The first act of 
the German Government had been to cable instructions to their 
agents in the United States to air the doctrine in a vigorous 
campaign of propaganda, as one which the Wilhelmstrasse 
heartily approved. 

The result was inevitable. The minute House mentioned "the 
freedom of the seas" to a British statesman, he got the reply: 
"Oh, yes, that is the newest thing in Berlin. Some more deviltry 
they are up to." It was useless to try to convince them that 
Britain must cooperate with Wilson to "put over" this new 

And all the while, British statesmen were thinking of 


the shipping bill which Wilson was sparing no effort to force 
through Congress, in order to build up with Federal subsidies, a 
huge merchant marine, which he had advocated as the vehicle 
of the world's commerce on the coming of peace! Was that not 
the kind of freedom of the seas in which Wilson was really 
interested? Consequently, and not unnaturally, the new scheme 
died aborning. 

Page contemplated without the least surprise the failure of 
Wilson, Grey, and House to achieve their ends. To him as to 
King George and the Germans, the whole thing seemed 
preposterous. The Internationalists were dealing with factors 
beyond their knowledge. They failed to anticipate that deep and 
abiding distrust in the British soul, of a political leader who 
could urge neutrality of thought on his own country, while 
actually cooperating with the British in an effort to overthrow 
the Germans. Maybe he was playing fast and loose with Britain 

Despite the failure of House's mission, something had been 
accomplished in tempering the German plan. "We left the war- 
zone declaration standing, thus retaining the shell of the 
campaign which had angered the Americans, in order to give an 
appearance of firmness for the benefit of German public 
opinion," says von Tirpitz, "but at the same time we removed 
the kernel by means of the modified orders which were given to 
the submarine commanders, at the instance of the civil 
authorities. We acted, in a word, fortiter in modo and suaviter in 
re. The submarine warfare now became, as Bachmann had 
prophesied, of no effect in securing the ultimate victory of the 
German people, but still had material enough to create incidents 
and quarrels with the Americans." 

The following comment by von Tirpitz throws a valuable 
light upon German opinion of Wilson, and Bryan. 

"If we had returned to the first American note a polite but 
definite refusal, I am convinced that there would not have been, 
either then or later, a declaration of war or even a rupture of 
relations. The Americans had not then become so embittered 
and partisan; they still respected us, and were not so involved in 
their loans to the Entente... 


The pacifist Bryan was still Secretary of State for Foreign 
Affairs... It would have been quite impossible for Wilson at 
that time to make the country hostile to us. . . . We should 
have given a definite cry, to which all the elements in the 
United States which were working against Wilson could have 
rallied: the Germans, the Irish, the Quakers, the cotton 
interests. We never adopted the right tone in deal-ing with 
the Americans. . . . We ought to have recognized at the latest 
in February, 1915, that there were elements of blackmail in 
Wilson's policy. . . . Repeatedly, but in vain, I pointed out to 
the Chancellor the true character of Wilson's policy, begging 
him to modify his attitude accordingly. While our credit 
suffered immeasurable damage with all maritime nations, who 
must have thought that our own hopes of victory were shaken, 
we were screwing Wilson more and more up to a standpoint, 
the maintenance of which in the end became a question of 
honour for him." "~ 2 Though entirely right from a purely 
military standpoint in his original position, von Tirpitz was 
mistaken about American sentiment. Bernstorff was far more 
accurately informed. He feared the effect of the submarine 
blockade. He knew that while the propaganda which had been 
carried on by Dernburg, Dumba, Boy-Ed, von Papen and 
others had been highly effective, the underlying sympathies of 
the Country were, as shown by the recent elections, strongly 
with the Entente, despite all the German agents could do. Yet 
he had for the Government itself, the utmost contempt. "A 
European gentleman, who came from a neutral country, and 
called on Bernstorff in April, 1915, told me," says William 
Roscoe Thayer, "that when he asked the Ambassador how he 
got on with the United States, he replied: "Very well indeed; 
we pay no attention to the Gov-ernment, but go ahead and do 
what we please.' " 2n 



The League to Enforce Peace Defied by Germany. Marburg 
Revises his Program. Wilson Accepts His Amendments and 
Openly Espouses International Cooperation. "America 
First" for the Sake of Humanity. 

THE TIME had now come for Carnegie and the Inter- 
nationalists to think about the Presidential election of 
1916. Whom were they to support? It was obvious that 
Wilson would stand for reelection; and it was equally plain that 
there was a great demand for a man like Roosevelt, who would 
arouse the country, and institute a firmer policy. 

"In the desirable project that was planned by the original 
group of the League to Enforce Peace," says Marburg, "we find 
four progressive stages. . . . 

"First stage: Institutions such as we now have, sup- 
plemented by a true international Court of Justice, all of which 
institutions are purely voluntary. 

"Second stage: The element of obligation added, in so far as 
the nations shall bind themselves to resort to these institutions. 

"Third stage: The further addition of an agreement to have 
the League act as an international grand jury to hale the would- 
be law-breaker before a commission of enquiry, and to use 
force to bring it there if recalcitrant. 

"Fourth stage: The final addition of an agreement to use 
force, if need be, to execute the award of the tribunal." 142 

Marburg and House had endeavored in vain to induce 
Germany to subscribe to this project. Nor was Wilson willing to 
espouse openly the principle of enforced peace, in the face of 
Bryan's objections. On the other hand, se- 


cret information showed that Japan had by no means 
abandoned her original purpose — an accounting with the United 
states had merely been postponed. If the Central Allies should 
defeat the Entente, Japan would almost certainly proceed, with 
the encouragement of Germany, against the United States. 

It was also plain that the country as a whole was not prepared 
for such a league of nations to enforce peace, as that which 
Marburg had proposed. Certainly Roosevelt would support it no 
more than Bryan. Even Root deemed it too much to expect. 
Marburg saw the necessity of reversing his scheme. It was 
better, he concluded, to take what it was possible to get as a 
first step, and enlarge upon it, than get nothing at all. 

Three meetings of those interested in forming a league of 
nations had already been held, when April 9, 1915, was set for a 
fourth. Besides Marburg and Taft, there were present James M. 
Beck, John Bates Clark, J. Reuben Clark, Jr., William C. 
Dennis, John Hays Hammond, Hamilton Holt, Harold J. 
Howland, William B. Howland, Andrew B. Humphrey, Darwin 
P. Kingsley, George W. Kirchwey, A. Lawrence Lowell, 
Frederick Lynch, Henry S. Prichett, Leo S. Roe, William H. 
Short, Albert Shaw, and John A. Stewart. 

"All those present at this meeting," says Marburg, "accepted 
without demur the first and second elements of the plan. Two 
men withheld their support of the third element on 'entangling 
alliance' grounds. In the light of the discussions had, they all 
abstained from supporting the fourth element, which thereupon 
disappeared from the program of the League. It must be 
remembered that the object of this meeting was to decide how 
much of the desirable plan previously mapped out, was 
realizable in the present stage of world opinion. What the 
League to Enforce Peace now proposed, was to take the present 
Bryan Treaties of obligatory enquiry, made in pairs, and make 
them common to all members of the League. It proposed further 
to add to the obligation which alone attaches to them now, the 
element of compulsion, in order to force a 


resort to enquiry before a nation is allowed to precipitate war." 

In this way it was planned to overcome pacifist, German, 
and nationalist opposition, and having amended his original 
scheme, Marburg was now in position to argue that the League 
would be especially valuable in solving the Japanese problem. 
With Japan and the United States both members of the League, 
he insisted that, in a dispute between them, for instance over the 
lease by Japan of Mag-dalena Bay from Mexico, the traditional 
political policy of the United States would not be violated by 
submitting the case to the Council of Conciliation. "Naturally 
the United States," he argued, "would abstain from any 
preliminary agreement in respect to the decision in so vital a 
matter. The chances are that the tribunal would not even 
proceed to a finding, but would content itself with bringing out 
the facts — permitting the United States to show that the ac- 
quisition by Japan of Magdalena Bay would be a menace to its 
own safety, and in violation of a policy which, although not a 
part of international law, was yet a cherished ideal of the United 
States of long standing. 

"Pending the enquiry, Japan would be stopped by injunction 
from proceeding with the objectionable act of taking possession 
of, and possibly fortifying, Magdalena Bay. This injunction 
would be supported by the full power of the League, and, 
during the period of the enquiry, the Monroe Doctrine would be 
safer than under present conditions. If, when the enquiry was at 
an end, both Mexico and Japan persisted in their objectionable 
course, the United States would then be free to go to War 
without violating its agreement with the League. 

"Moreover, the obligation to resort to enquiry before 
fighting, which would rest on the United States under the 
League, already rests on it under the Bryan Treaties of 
obligatory enquiry. It would not be estopped, under the League 
agreement, from doing anything whatever which it is not 
already estopped from doing by its plighted word given in the 
Bryan Treaties." 


To all this Wilson agreed, and it was now possible to throw 
Bryan on the defensive. Should the "Apostle of Peace" openly 
oppose Marburg's amended proposals, after all these years of 
prating about universal peace and treaties of arbitration, he 
would take upon himself the responsibility of defeating the 
prospects of peace at this critical juncture. No longer afraid of 
Bryan, Wilson saw also that the time had at last come for him to 
make a great appeal to the Nation to abandon its old 
provincialisms, and to line up behind him without regard to 
previous party attachments. Now he proposed to take advantage 
of the emotions of the moment, to plant in the mind of the 
Nation the idea of a new party, a "bigger and better one" — the 
idea which all along had been in his mind, of transforming the 
Democratic party by the magic of his words, and disposing of 
Bryan forever. At the same time he must spare no effort to 
convince the Germans that he had no secret relation with the 
British such as they had long suspected, and to arouse the 
Socialists. It was arranged for him to address the Associated 
Press in New York on April 20, 1915, in order to lay the 
foundation for a league of nations, and to give to his proposals 
the widest possible publicity. Thus the stage was set for him 
adroitly by the hidden hand of Marburg: 

"Mr. President, Gentlemen of the Associated Press, Ladies and 
Gentlemen: — "I am deeply gratified by the generous reception 
you have accorded me. It makes me look back with a touch of 
regret to former occasions when I have stood in this place, and 
enjoyed a greater liberty than is granted me today. There have 
been times when I stood in this spot and said what I really 
thought, and I cannot help praying that those days of indulgence 
may be accorded me again. I have come here today, of course, 
somewhat restrained by a sense of responsibility which I cannot 
es-cape. For I take the Associated Press very seriously. I know 
the enormous part that you play in the affairs not only of this 
country but of the world. You deal in the raw material of 
opinion and, if my convictions have any validity, opinion ulti- 
mately governs the world." 


This was a plain appeal to the Press of America to give to 
his words the utmost possible effect. 

"It is, therefore, of very serious things that I think, as I face 
this body of men. I do not think of you, however, as members 
of the Associated Press. I do not think of you as men of dif- 
ferent parties or of different racial derivations or of different 
religious denominations. I want to talk to you as to my fellow 
citizens of the United States, for there are serious things which 
as fellow citizens we ought to consider. The times behind us 
gentlemen, have been difficult enough; the times before us are 
likely to be more difficult still, because, whatever may be said 
about the present condition of the world's affairs, it is clear that 
they are drawing rapidly to a climax, and at the climax the test 
will come, not only for the nations engaged in the present 
colossal struggle — it will come to them, of course — but the test 
will come for us particularly." 

From this it is manifest that Wilson believed the time had 
come for him to put forth the suggestion of a league of nations. 

"Do you realize that, roughly speaking, we are the only great 
Nation at present disengaged? I am not speaking, of course, 
with disparagement of the greatness of those nations in Europe 
which are not parties to the present war, but I am thinking of 
their close neighborhood to it. I am thinking how their lives, 
much more than ours, touch the very heart and stuff of the 
business, whereas we have rolling between us and those bitter 
days across the water, 3,000 miles of cool and silent ocean. Our 
atmosphere is not yet charged with those disturbing elements 
which must permeate every nation of Europe. Therefore, is it 
not likely that the nations of the world will some day turn to us 
for the cooler assessment of the elements engaged? I am not 
now thinking so preposterous a thought as that we should sit in 
judgment upon them — no nation is fit to sit in judgment upon 
any other nation — but that we shall some day have to assist in 
reconstructing the processes of peace. Our resources are un- 
touched; we are more and more becoming by the force of cir- 
cumstances the mediating Nation of the world in respect of its 
finance. We must make up our minds what are the best things to 
do, and what are the best ways to do them. We must put our 
money, our energy, our enthusiasm, our sympathy into 


these things, and we must have our judgments prepared and out 
spirits chastened against the coming of that day." 

When the fact is recalled that Wilson had long since actually 
passed judgment on Germany, and had already committed 
himself to a concert of action with Grey, de-signed to compel 
Germany to enter a league of nations, can the words here 
spoken be dismissed as mere sophistry? If regard be had to the 
effect which they were plainly cal-culated to have, or to the 
conclusions which were reasonably to be drawn from them, 
how can it be said they were not affirmative 

misrepresentations, designed to conceal what the speaker 
did not dare admit? 

"So that I am not speaking in a selfish spirit when I say that 
our whole duty, for the present at any rate, is summed up in this 
motto, 'America first.' Let us think of America before we think 
of Europe, in order that America may be fit to be Europe's 
friend when the day of tested friendship comes. The test of 
friendship is not now sympathy with the one side or the other, 
but getting ready to help both sides when the struggle is over. 
The basis of neutrality, gentlemen, is not indifference; it is not 
self-interest. The basis of neutrality is sympathy for mankind. It 
is fairness, it is good will, at bottom. It is impartiality of spirit 
and of judgment. I wish that all of our fellow citizens could 
realize that. There is in some quarters a disposition to create 
distempers in this body politic. Men are even uttering slanders 
against the United States, as if to excite her. Men are saying that 
if we should go to war upon either side, there would be a 
divided America — an abominable libel of ignorance! America 
is not all of it vocal just now. It is vocal in spots, but I, for one, 
have a complete and abiding faith in that great silent body of 
Americans who are not standing up and shouting and 
expressing their opinions just now, but are waiting to find out 
and support the duty of America. I am just as sure of their 
solidity and of their loyalty and of their unanimity, if we act 
justly, as I am that the history of this country has at every crisis 
and turning-point illustrated this great lesson. " 

How could a speaker who thus confessed that he was thinking 
of humanity far less than of America, expect the 


belligerents to accept willingly his political leadership? So 
intent was Wilson upon establishing the hegemony of America 
over Europe, that he apparently saw no greater inconsistency 
between the doctrine of "America first," and a league of nations 
consecrated to the service of humanity, than he had seen 
between his former proposal of a great American merchant 
marine and the Nation's services to mankind! 
He continued: 

"We are the mediating Nation of the world. I do not mean 
that we undertake not to mind our own business, and to mediate 
where other people are quarreling. I mean the word in a broader 
sense. We are compounded of the nations of the world; we 
mediate their blood, we mediate their traditions, we mediate 
their sentiments, their tastes, their passions; we are ourselves 
compounded of those things. We are, therefore, able to 
understand all nations; we are able to understand them in the 
compound, not separately, as partisans, but unitedly as knowing 
and comprehending and embodying them all. It is in that sense 
that I mean that America is a mediating Nation. The opinion of 
America, the action of America, is ready to turn, and free to 
turn, in any direction. Did you ever reflect upon how almost 
every other nation has through long centuries been headed in 
one direction? That is not true of the United States. The United 
States has no racial momentum. It has no history back of it, 
which makes it run all its energies and all its ambitions in one 
particular direction. And America is particularly free in this, 
that she has no hampering ambitions as a world power. We do 
not want a foot of anybody's territory. If we have been obliged 
by circumstances, or have considered ourselves to be obliged by 
circumstances, in the past, to take territory which we otherwise 
would not have thought of taking, I believe I am right in saying 
that we have considered it our duty to administer that territory, 
not for ourselves, but for the people living in it, and to put this 
burden upon our consciences— not to think that this thing is ours 
for our use, but to regard ourselves as trustees of the great 
business for those to whom it does really belong, trustees ready 
to hand it over to the cestui que trust at any time when the 
business seems to make that possible and feasible. That is what 
I mean by saying we have no hampering ambitions. We do not 
want anything that does 


not belong to us. Is not a nation like that ready to form some 
part of the assessing opinion of the world? 
"My interest in the neutrality of the United States is not the 
petty desire to keep out of trouble. To judge by my experience, I 
have never been able to keep out of trouble. I have never looked 
for it, but I have always found it. I do not want to walk around 
trouble. If any man wants a scrap that is an interesting scrap 
and worth while, I am his man. I warn him that he is not going 
to draw me into the scrap for his advertisement, but if he is 
looking for trouble that is the trouble of men 

in general, and I can help a little, why, then, I am in for it. 
But I am interested in neutrality because there is something so 
much greater to do than fight; there is a distinction waiting for 
this Nation that no nation has ever yet got. That is the dis- 
tinction of absolute self-control and self-mastery. Whom do 
you admire most among your friends? The irritable man? The 
man out of whom you can get a 'rise' without trying? The man 
who will fight at the drop of the hat, whether he knows what the 
hat is dropped for or not? Don't you admire and don't you fear, 
if you have to contest with him, the self-mastered man who 
watches you with calm eye, and comes only when you have 
carried the thing so far that you must be disposed of? That is 
the man you respect. That is the man who, you know, has at 
bottom a much more fundamental and terrible courage than the 
irritable, fighting man. Now I covet for America this splendid 
courage of reserve moral force, and I wanted to point out to you 
gentlemen simply this:" 

Here again Wilson laid bare unequivocally, the original 
motive behind his policy of neutrality. As a mediator between 
the exhausted belligerents, America would necessarily 
dominate the world with him as spokesman! 

There is news and news. There is what is called news from 
Turtle Bay that turns out to be falsehood, at any rate in what it 
is said to signify, but which, if you could get the Nation to 
believe it true, might disturb our equilibrium and our self- 
possession. We ought not to deal in stuff of that kind. We ought 
not to permit that sort of thing to use up the electrical energy of 
the wires, because its energy is malign, its energy is not of the 
truth, its energy is of mischief. It is possible to sift trugh. I 
have known some things to go out on the wires as true, when 
there was only one man or one group of men who 


could have told the originators of that report whether it was true 
or not, and they were not asked whether it was true or not, for 
fear it might not be true. That sort of report ought not go out 
over the wires. There is generally, if not always, some-body 
who knows whether the thing is so or not, and in these days, 
above all other days, we ought to take particular pains to resort 
to the one small group of men, or to the one man, if there be but 
one, who knows the truth; the world ought not at this period of 
unstable equilibrium, to be disturbed by rumor ought not to be 
disturbed by imaginative combinations of circumstances, or 
rather, by circumstances stated in combination which do not 
belong in combination. You gentlemen, and gentlemen engaged 
like you, are holding the balances in your hand. This unstable 
equilibrium rests upon scales that are in your hands. For the 
food of opinion, as I began by saying, is the news of the day. I 
have known many a man to go off at a tangent on information 
that was not reliable. Indeed, that describes the majority of men. 
The world is held stable by the man who waits for the next day, 
to find out whether the report was true or not. 

"We cannot afford, therefore, to let the rumors of irrespon- 
sible persons and origins get into the atmosphere of the United 
States. We are trustees for what I venture to say is the greatest 
heritage that any nation ever had, the love of justice and 
righteousness and human liberty. For, fundamentally, those are 
the things to which America is addicted, and to which she is 
devoted. There are groups of selfish men in the United States, 
there are coteries where sinister things are purposed, but the 
great heart of the American people is just as sound and true as it 
ever was. And it is a single heart; it is the heart of America. It is 
not a heart made up of sections out of other countries." 

After delivering these salvos at the "party men" and the 
"hyphenates," both of whom it was his plain purpose to 
discredit, he finally addressed himself to those with whose 
support he proposed to transform the Democratic party. 

"What I try to remind myself of every day when I am almost 
overcome by perplexities, what I try to remember, is what the 
people at home are thinking about. I try to put myself in the 
place of the man who does not know all the things that I know, 
and ask myself what he would like the policy of this country 

to be. Not the talkative man, not the partisan man, not the man 
who remembers first that he is a Republican or a Democrat, or 
that his parents were German or English, but the man who 
remembers first that the whole destiny of modern affairs centers 
largely upon his being an American first of all. If I permitted 
myself to forget the people who are not partisans, I would be 
unworthy to be your spokesman. I am not sure that I am worthy 
to represent you, but I do claim this degree of worthiness — that 
before everything else I love America. " ffi 

Thoroughly deceived as to Wilson's motives, there were 
those who praised not only his idealism, but his "one hundred 
percent" Americanism. "Was there ever such a Patriot?" they 
enquired. He was charged, on the other hand, with sophistry. 
"America first," joined with the material advantages of 
neutrality, was not altruism, they insisted, but the reverse. 



Reaping the Whirlwind. The Destruction of the "Lusi- 

tania." The Righteous Wrath of the Nation. Wilson's 

Great Opportunity. 

"AMERICA FIRST! A Phrase or a Fact," was the title of the 
article in which Roosevelt dealt with Wilson's last utterance; 
nor was the title pleasing to the Internationalists. 

House came back to London late in April to hold secret 
conferences with Grey. No one, he wrote Wilson, not even 
Page, must know of their plan. It was necessary, he repeated, 
for Grey and himself to educate public opinion, before it would 
condone the "Freedom of the Seas." On May 1st, he wrote 
Zimmermann that he had been to Switzerland and France, and, 
pursuant to his agreement with the Chancellor, had seen many 
of the representatives of the Powers. "Grey," he said, "was at 
least willing to consider" the "Freedom of the Seas." The 
Chancellor must give House assurances that he would cooperate 
in the general scheme. 

The Germans were, of course, not deceived. May Day, 
1915, was to be one of strange events. In the midst of the 
President's "Maying," the following notice appeared in the 
American press: 

"Travelers intending to embark for an Atlantic voyage, are 
reminded that a state of war exists between Germany and her 
Allies, and Great Britain and her Allies; the zone of war in- 
cludes the waters adjacent to the British Isles; that, in accord- 
ance with the formal notice given by the Imperial German 
Government, vessels flying the flag of Great Britain or any of 
her Allies, are liable to destruction in those waters; and that 


travelers sailing in the war zone in ships of Great Britain or her 
Allies, do so at their own risk." "This notice," says Bernstorff, 
"was intended to appear in the Press on April 24th and the two 
following Saturdays. By one of those fatal coincidences beloved 
of history, it happened that, owing to technical difficulties, the 
'communique' was not actually published until May 1st — the 
very date on which the Lusitania left New York harbor. This 
conjunction was bound to appear intentional rather than 
fortuitous, and even today the majority of Americans believe 
that I must have known beforehand of the design to torpedo the 

Whether or not Bernstorff was aware of the fate which 
awaited the Lusitania, and he probably was, Gerard suspected 
that a tragedy was in preparation. Over and over he had warned 
Washington. 7 Nevertheless, the press ridiculed the notice. 

On May 1st, still another important event happened — the 
merchant ship Gullflight, of American registry, was sunk by a 
German submarine with the loss of two American lives. The 
following day Page wrote his son: "The blowing up of a liner 
with American passengers may be the prelude. I almost expect 
such a thing." And again on the same date: "If a British liner 
full of American passengers be blown up, what will Uncle Sam 
do?" " 

On the 3rd, House cabled Wilson that Lord Loreburn thought 
that if they could incorporate the principle of "the freedom of 
the seas" in a peace convention, "it would be perhaps the 
greatest jest that was ever perpetrated upon an unsuspecting 
nation — having, of course, Germany in mind." He told 
Loreburn, he said, that he had shivered while in Berlin, lest the 
Wilhelmstrasse detect the trick of which Germany was the 
intended victim. 103 Whatever may be thought of the deceptions 
to which Wilson and the Internationalists were a party, they 
produced a reaction against the cause of peace. Having dis- 
covered their real purpose, the Germans had lost all faith in 
Wilson and House, just as they had lost all respect for 


Bryan; while British statesmen must, equally, have felt them 
to be unreliable. 

Under the necessity of doing something about the Gull- 
flight, Wilson, on May 5th, cabled House for advice. House 
replied at once: "I believe that a sharp note indi-cating your 
determination to demand full reparation would be sufficient in 
this instance. I am afraid a more serious breach may at any time 
occur, for they seem to have no regard for consequences." 

The next day Page wrote: "We all have the feeling here that 
more and more frightful things are about to happen." 

On the morning of May 7th, House and Grey drove out to 
Kew. "We spoke of the probability of an ocean liner being 
sunk," House records, "and I told Page, if this were done, a 
flame of indignation would sweep across America, which 
would in itself probably carry us into the war. " An hour later, 
House was with King George in Buckingham Palace. "We fell 
to talking, strangely enough," he wrote that night, "of the 
probability of Germany sinking a trans- Atlantic liner. ..." The 
King said, "suppose they should sink the Lusitania with 
American passengers on board. . . .?" 

Secure in the consciousness of his own rectitude, the 
thought seems to have come to King George like a premonition 
of the evil consequences of Wilson's course. That very day the 
majestic British passenger steamer Lusitania which, as shown, 
had flown the American flag on February 6th to insure the 
security of House, was destroyed off the Irish Coast with the 
loss of many lives, including one hundred and twenty-four 

The news of the disaster was received at the American 
Embassy at four o'clock in the afternoon. At that time, 
preparations were under way for a dinner in honor or Colonel 
and Mrs. House. The first announcement declared that only the 
ship itself had been destroyed, and that all the passengers and 
members of the crew had been saved. There was, therefore, no 
good reason for abandoning the dinner. At about seven o'clock, 
the Ambassador 


came home. His manner showed that something extraor-dinary 
had taken place. The first news, he now informed Mrs. Page, 
had been a mistake. 

More than one thousand men, women, and children had lost 
their lives, and more than one hundred of these were American 
citizens. It was too late to postpone the dinner, but that affair 
was one of the most tragic in the social history of London. The 
atmosphere was that of dumb stupefaction. The news seemed to 
have dulled everyone's capacity for thought, and even for 
feeling. If any one spoke, it was in whispers. Afterward, in the 
drawing room, this same mental state prevailed. There was little 
denunciation of Germany, and practically no discussion as to 
the consequences of the crime. Everyone's thoughts were 
engrossed by the harrowing and unbelievable facts, which the 
Ambassador read from the little yellow slips, periodically 
brought in. An irresistible fascination kept everybody in the 
room; the guests, eager for every new item, stayed late. When 
they finally left, one after another, their manner was still 
abstracted, and they said their good-nights in low voices. There 
were two reasons for this behavior. The first was that the 
Ambassador and his guests had received the details of the 
greatest infamy which any supposedly civilized state had 
perpetrated since the massacre of Saint Bartholomew. The 
second was the conviction that the United States would at once 
declare war on Germany. 

On this latter point, several of the guests expressed their ideas. 
The most outspoken arid the one who professed to be most 
shocked, was House. No doubt he realized that Germany had 
been provoked beyond endurance. This act, he said, left the 
United States no option. "We shall be at war with Germany 
within a month," he declared." 

Page regarded immediate intervention as inevitable, and 
cabled Wilson that he did not believe the United States could 
retain the good opinion of any one, if it did not join the Allies 
at once. 103 

Bernstorff was in New York. He tells how the Ritz Hotel, where 
he was staying, was immediately crowded with 


reporters, and of the "immense popular excitement" the next 
day. He goes on to say that "the destruction of the Lusitania 
first brought home to the United States the horrors of war, and 
convinced all her people that a flagrant injury had been done 
them. . . . Public opinion, with one voice, demanded the 
severance of diplomatic relations with Germany. . . . 

"The irresistible strength of the popular indignation may be 
accurately estimated from the fact that even the German- 
Americans were terror-stricken at its violence. Not only did our 
propaganda collapse completely, but even our political friends 
dared not open their mouths." 2 

Propaganda and self-interest had not dulled the moral 
perceptions of the Nation as a whole; it awaited almost 
breathlessly the call of the President to end any repetition of the 
destruction of the Gullflight and the Lusitania. Many persons 
who had felt no desire for war, and had excused the sophistry of 
Wilson's words because of their pacifying effect, were at last 
convinced that Page and Gerard were right — Germany had 
been merely trading on American neutrality. As they saw it, to 
leave Germany longer in doubt as to the Nation's willingness to 
defend the lives of its citizens, was but to encourage further 

Nor had the effect of participation in the war by young 
Americans overseas, been without powerful influence. Hun- 
dreds of them had, by this time, perished in the French service, 
while thousands had joined the Canadian and British forces. 
Robert Bacon had been ceaselessly active in organizing 
American hospitals in France, while Herrick, after turning over 
his post to Sharp, had openly espoused the Allied cause. 
Meantime, Sir Gilbert Parker had organized British propaganda 
in America upon an effective basis, German propaganda being 
powerless to offset its influence. Every letter from the brave 
lads overseas, was in itself a powerful appeal. Thousands of 
people had already come to look upon the unselfish service of 
these Americans, and that of Hoover in Belgium, as a bitter 
reproach to Wilson's scheme of neutrality. 

British sympathizers deemed the mutual friendship of 


Britain and America essential to the welfare of both. More than 
that, British institutions must not be trampled under foot. To 
Hammurabi, Justinian, and Napoleon, Europe owed its civil 
codes of jurisprudence. Were these, too, to be set aside in favor 
of institutions such as a Prussian Conqueror might establish to 
maintain "Welt Politik"? 

Even those opposed to war, believed that there was but one 
way to avoid it. There must be an unequivocal demand for 
immediate satisfaction, and definite assurance that Germany 
would abandon her submarine policy. To resist the one course 
that might prevent war would be a confession on the part of 
pro-Germans or pacifists, that they were in fact "hyphenates," 
or pseudo-Americans, more interested in the success of 
Germany than in the welfare of the American people. 

Those who still opposed war, wished to afford the German 
masses time to realize finally, that the submarine policy of von 
Tirpitz was but the last hope of the militarists by whom they 
were being deceived. Even if it should have no such far 
reaching effect, they believed that, with the hope of Germany's 
ultimate success eliminated, Bulgaria and Rumania would at 
once join the Allies. This might cause Turkey and Austria- 
Hungary to abandon Germany to her fate between Russia in the 
East, and the British and French in the West, with Italy on the 
South free to cooperate with Germany's new enemies in that 
quarter. This, they insisted, was the way to end the war, and at 
the same time insure against America being drawn into it. The 
argument was such a good one, that the more farsighted 
members of the German Government trembled lest Wilson take 
the course urged. 

That another great opportunity was knocking at Wilson's 
door, can hardly be denied. "I was in Southern California," says 
Houston, "when the news came that the Lusi-tania had been 
sunk. I instantly realized the seriousness of this tragedy from 
the point of view of our international relations. The press 
reports indicated that a considerable number of Americans had 
lost their lives, and raised the question as to whether the ship 
could be regarded as a 


war vessel, if the rumor that she carried arms and munitions 
were true. I had a wire from a friend asking for my views. I 
replied that I did not have sufficient information to justify me in 
forming an opinion. I added that certain things were clear to me. 
Nothing could justify the sinking of a vessel carrying 
passengers, except after visit and search, and, even if it were 
discovered that it was carrying contraband, except after seeing 
passengers and crew were placed in a position of safety. I added 
that it was questionable wisdom for Americans to sail on 
belligerent ships and run the risk of involving their country in a 
serious situation, but that they had a perfect right to do so. I 
advised reliance on the wisdom and courage of the President." 


"Truth to tell," says Bernstorff, "if Mr. Wilson had really 
been striving to declare war against us, he would, of course, 
only have needed to nod in order to induce his whole country to 
fight after the Lusitania incident, so great was the war feeling at 
that critical time. " 

He has also described in detail the widespread hostility to 
Germans, and to German-American sympathizers, at this time. 
According to him, so great was the wrath of the American 
people that the most terrible injustice was done people of 
German blood, even by their own kin. He trembled for their 

In the face of such evidence, the contention, habitual among 
Wilson's partisans, that the country would not have responded 
to a stirring appeal from the President to defend its rights by 
entering the war, is but a defense after the event, which ignores 
the facts. 



Fate Favors Wilson Again. The Secret Dealings of Wilson 
and Bryan with Bernstorff, "Too Proud to Fight." The 
"Lusitania" Note. Bryan's Objection and His Extraordinary 

FATE WAS KIND to Wilson. Once more it was within his 
power to assume, almost with a word, the world 
dictatorship for which he had longed. Again the evil 
counsels and machinations of the Internationalists interposed. 

There were three possible courses open to him — the 
immediate severance of diplomatic relations, with a call on 
Congress to declare war; the mere severance of diplomatic 
relations, coupled with a demand for satisfaction, and rea- 
sonable assurances that such acts as the destruction of the 
Gullflight and Lusitania would not recur; and a demand for 
satisfaction and assurances alone. But while any one of these 
three courses was possible, the last was impractical, in the face 
of the known purpose and attitude of the dominant German 
party. When the Lusitania was sunk, von Tirpitz was in Berlin. 
On May 9th, he telegraphed to the German Chancellor that it 
was now "urgently necessary to make good Germany's legal 
position," and "that compromise was more dangerous than 
firmness." 212 Fully advised of von Tirpitz's position, House 
wrote in his diary: "It seems clear to me that the Lusitania is 
merely the first incident of the kind and that more will follow, 
and that Germany will not give any assurance she will 
discontinue her policy of sinking passenger ships filled with 
Americans and noncombatants." Meantime, he had gone so far 
in his enthusiasm as to discuss with Kitchener military plans 
looking to immediate American participation in the war. 


Kitchener, however, was but one of many Britons who did 
not look with enthusiasm on the prospect of a break between 
the United States and Germany. Confident that with an 
uninterrupted supply of American munitions, it was but a 
question of time before the Entente would crush the Central 
Allies, they wanted nothing to interfere with their present plans. 
Aside from this, Wilson was not thought of as a friend to their 
cause. Should the United States intervene and end the war now, 
he would almost certainly, as shown by his speeches, undertake 
to interfere in the peace terms. 

Momentarily out of touch with those who were pulling the 
wires, House had spoken too soon. Severance of diplomatic 
relations would mean war, leaving to the United States and the 
Entente no other course than a joint attempt to defeat the 
Central Allies. It might take years to do this. Nor would 
America's involvement fail to further disturb the economic 
organization of the world. Furthermore, even if the Pan- 
Germans should be forced by a crushing defeat to agree to enter 
a league of nations, it would not be the voluntary association 
which Marburg had in mind. Therefore, like Marburg, Wilson 
was determined not to permit America to become involved, 
until this should be necessary to prevent Germany from winning 
the war, no matter what happened meantime to humanity as a 
whole. America might help the Entente with money and muni- 
tions, her Government might encourage and cooperate with 
them secretly, even permit them to go on doing with impunity 
what was necessary to maintain themselves against the German 
blockade, but she was not to abandon her neutrality except 
when absolutely compelled to do so for defensive reason! 

Two days after the sinking of the Lusitania, House cabled 
Wilson: "America has come to the parting of the ways . . . We 
can no longer remain neutral spectators. Our action in this crisis 
will determine the part we will play when peace is made, and 
how far we may influence a settlement for the lasting good of 
humanity. We are being weighed in the balance." He then 
suggested that an "im- 


mediate demand" be made on Germany for assurance against 
any recurrence of such incidents, and that measures be taken to 
ensure the safety of American citizens. Two days later he 
repeated this advice. 

Of Wilson's attitude at this time, Tumulty gives a graphic 
picture, evidencing the influence on the President of the 
Internationalists. "His critics who, a few days before, were 
assailing him for his supposed surrender to England, were now 
demanding an immediate declaration of war against Germany, 
but not for a moment did the President waver before these 
clamorous demands. To such an extent did he carry this attitude 
of calmness and steadiness of purpose, that on 'the outside' the 
people felt that there was in him a heartlessness and an 
indifference to the deep tragedy of the Lusitania. At my first 
meeting with him, I tried to call to his attention many of the 
tragic details of the sinking of the great ship in an effort to force 
his hand, so to speak, but he quickly checked what appeared to 
be my youthful impetuosity, and said: 'Tumulty, it would be 
much wiser for us not to dwell too much upon these matters.' 
When he uttered this admonition, there was no suggestion of 
coldness about him. In fact, he seemed to be deeply moved, as I 
adverted to some of the facts surrounding this regrettable and 
tragic affair. At times tears stood in his eyes, and turning to me 
he said: 'If I pondered over those tragic items that daily appear 
in the newspapers about the Lusitania, I should see red in 
everything, and I am afraid that when I am called upon to act 
with reference to this situation, I could not be just to any one. I 
dare not act unjustly and cannot indulge my own passionate 
feelings.' "Evidently he saw that his turning away from the topic 
in this apparently indifferent way did not sit well with me. 
Quickly he understood my dissatisfaction, and said: 'I suppose 
you think I am cold and indifferent and a little less than human, 
but, my dear fellow, you are mistaken, for I have spent many 
sleepless hours thinking about this tragedy. It has hung over me 
like a terrible nightmare. In God's name, how could any nation 
calling itself civilized, purpose so horrible a thing?' 


"At the time we were discussing this grave matter, we were 
seated in the President's study in the White House. I had never 
seen him more serious or careworn. I was aware that he was 
suffering under the criticism that had been heaped upon him for 
his apparent inaction in the matter of the Lusitania. Turning to 
me, he said: 'Let me try to make my attitude in this matter plain 
to you, so that you at least will try to understand what lies in my 
thoughts. I am bound to consider in the most careful and 
cautious way, the first step I shall take, because, once having 
taken it, I cannot withdraw from it. I am bound to consider 
beforehand all the facts and circumstances surrounding the 
sinking of the Lusitania, and to calculate the effect upon the 
country of every incautious or unwise move. I am keenly aware 
that the feeling of the country is now at fever heat, and that it is 
ready to move with me in any direction I shall suggest, but I am 
bound to weigh carefully the effect of radical action now, based 
upon the present emotionalism of the people. I am not sure 
whether the present emotionalism of the country would last 
long enough to sustain any action I would suggest to Congress, 
and thus, in case of failure, we should be left without that fine 
backing and support so necessary to maintain a great cause. I 
could go to Congress tomorrow and advocate war with 
Germany, and I feel certain that Congress would support me, 
but what would the country say when war was declared, and 
finally came, and we were witnessing all of its horrors and 
bloody aftermath? As the people pored over the casualty lists, 
would they not say: "Why did Wilson move so fast in this 
matter? Why didn't he try peaceably to settle this question with 
Germany? Why was he so anxious to go to war with Germany, 
yet at the same time why was he so tender of the feelings of 
Great Britain in the matter of the blockade?" Were I to advise 
radical action now, we should have nothing, I am afraid, but 
regrets and heartbreaks. The vastness of this country, its 
variegated elements, the conflicting cross-currents of national 
feelings, bid us wait and withhold ourselves from hasty or 
precipitate action. When we move against Germany, we must 
be certain that 


the whole country not only moves with us, but is willing to go 
forward to the end with enthusiasm. I know that we shall be 
condemned for waiting, but, in the last analysis, I am the trustee 
of this nation, and the cost of it all must be considered in the 
reckoning before we go forward.' 

"Then leaning closer to me, he said: 'It will not do for me to 
act as if I had been hurried into precipitate action against 
Germany. I must answer for the consequences of my action. 
What is the picture that lies before me? All the great nations of 
Europe at war, engaged in a death grapple that may involve 
civilization. My earnest hope and fervent prayer has been that 
America could withhold herself, and remain out of this terrible 
mess and steer clear of European embroilments, and at the right 
time offer herself as the only mediating influence to bring about 
peace. If we should go in, then the whole civilized world will 
become involved. What a pretty mess it would be! America, the 
only nation disconnected from this thing, and now she is 
surrendering the leadership she occupies, and becomes involved 
as other nations have. No man fit to be President of this Nation, 
knowing the way its people would respond to any demand that 
might be made upon them, need have fears or doubts as to what 
stand it would finally take. But what I fear more than anything 
else is the possibility of world bankruptcy that will inevitably 
follow our getting into this thing. Not only world chaos and 
bankruptcy, but all of the distempers, social, moral, and 
industrial, that will flow from this world cataclysm. No sane 
man, therefore, who knows the dangerous elements that are 
abroad in the world would, without feeling out every move, 
seek to lead his people without counting the cost and 
dispassionately deliberating upon every move.' " 215 

It is evident that no one knew better than Wilson himself 
that the country would go to war at a word from him, and that 
his fixed purpose was to prevent war, simply and solely because 
he did not believe the time had come when intervention would 
yield the United States, and himself as its spokesman, that 
influence at the peace table which a 


prolongation of war would insure. With this purpose on his part, 
he was to find in Bryan an invaluable adjunct, just as in August, 
1914. But what would the American people have thought of 
Wilson, had they known that he and Bryan were, at this 
juncture, actually dealing with Bernstorff, and soliciting his aid 
to preserve peace? What would the British and French have 

"The first expressions of opinion which I received from the 
President and Mr. Bryan," says Bernstorff, "gave me good 
grounds for hope that these gentlemen would do everything in 
their power to preserve peace." Accordingly, before any of the 
President's advisers suspected what was in Wilson's mind, 
Bernstorff cabled the Wilhelmstrasse as follows: 

"Washington, May 9, 1915. 
"Lusitania incident has caused great excitement, especially in 
New York, which is most affected, but I hope that no serious 
consequences will ensue. Mr. Wilson regards matters calmly. I 
recommend expression of regret for loss of so many American 
lives, in whatever form may be possible without admission of 
our responsibility." 

"Washington, May 10th, 1915. 
"Bryan spoke to me very seriously concerning Lusitania inci- 
dent. His influence will, in any case, be exercised in favor of 
peace. This influence is great, as Wilson depends on Bryan for 
his reelection. Roosevelt, on the other hand, is beating the 
patriotic drum, in order to win over the Jingo elements. It is 
significant of Bryan's real views that he regrets that we did not 
support his well-known attempt at mediation; therefore, I again 
recommend that we should endeavor to bring about an attempt 
at mediation in some form, in case the position here becomes 
critical. This would be a good argumentum ad hominem in 
order to avoid war. Another way out, which is recommended, is 
that we should renew our offer to give up submarine warfare 
provided that England adheres to the principles of International 
Law, and gives up her policy of starvation. The position is in 
any case very serious: I hope and believe that we shall find a 
way out of the present crisis, but in case of any such recurrence, 
no solution can be guaranteed." 2/ 


Yet, declares Bernstorff: "American indignation was di- 
rected particularly against Dr. Dernburg, who had defended, in 
public, the torpedoing of the Lusitania. I had, therefore, no other 
recourse but to advise him to leave the country of his own 
accord. He would probably have been deported in any case, and 
his continued presence in America could no longer serve any 
useful purpose, while it was to be hoped that his voluntary 
departure would appease the popular wrath in some degree, and 
postpone the imminent rupture of diplomatic relations. The sea 
was raging and demanded a sacrifice." 

In his report to the Wilhelmstrasse on the subject, Bernstorff 
said: "When I informed Mr. Bryan that Dr. Dernburg had 
decided to return home if the American Government would 
secure him a safe conduct from our enemies, the satisfaction of 
the Secretary of State was even more pronounced than I had 
expected. He remarked that Dr. Dernburg's speeches had given 
rise to the suspicion that the German Government wished to 
inflame the minds of the American people against President 
Wilson's administration. It might be possible, now that there 
were no longer any grounds for this idea, to avoid an immediate 
rupture of diplomatic relations." 27 

An invitation had been accepted by Wilson to address a 
large gathering of newly naturalized citizens in Philadelphia on 
May 10th, 1915, and on this occasion, although he had already 
committed himself to Bernstorff, he was to give the American 
people their first indication of what action he would take on the 
Gullflight and the Lusitania. Never, perhaps, had the world 
hung more breathlessly on his words. On the way to 
Philadelphia, Tumulty read Wilson's speech, and warned him 
against certain unfortunate expressions in it, but to no avail. The 
speech follows: 

"Mr. Mayor, Fellow Citizens: 

"It warms my heart that you should give me such a recep- 
tion; but it is not of myself that I wish to think tonight, but of 
those who have just become citizens of the United States. 

"This is the only country in the world which experiences 


this constant and repeated rebirth. Other countries depend upon 
the multiplication of their own native people. This country is 
constantly drinking strength out of new sources bv the 
voluntary association with it of great bodies of strong men and 
forward-looking women out of other lands. And so, by the gift 
of the free will of independent people, it is being constantly 
renewed from generation to generation by the same process by 
which it was originally created. It is as if humanity had 
determined to see to it that this great Nation, founded for the 
benefit of humanity, should not lack for the allegiance of the 
people of the world. 

"You have just taken an oath of allegiance to the United 
States. Of allegiance to whom? Of allegiance to those who 
temporarily represent this great Government. You have taken an 
oath of allegiance, to a great hope of the human race. You have 
said, 'We are going to America not only to earn a living, not 
only to seek the things which it was more difficult to obtain 
where we were born, but to help forward the great enterprises of 
the human spirit — to let men know that everywhere in the world 
there are men who will cross strange oceans, and go where a 
speech is spoken which is alien to them, if they can but satisfy 
their quest for what their spirits crave; knowing that, whatever 
the speech, there is but one longing and utterance of the human 
heart, and this is for liberty and justice.' And the while, you 
bring all countries behind you — bringing what is best of their 
spirit, but not looking over your shoulders and seeking to 
perpetuate what you intended to leave behind in them. I 
certainly would not be one even to suggest that a man cease to 
love the home of his birth and the nation of his origin — these 
things are very sacred and ought not to be put out of our 
hearts — but it is one thing to love the place where you were 
born, and it is another thing to dedicate yourself to the place to 
which you go. You cannot dedicate yourself to America, unless 
you become in every respect and with every purpose of your 
will thorough Americans. You cannot become thorough 
Americans if you think of yourselves in groups. America does 
not consist of groups. A man who thinks of himself as belong- 
ing to a particular national group in America, has not yet be- 
come an American, and the man who goes among you to trade 
upon your nationality is no worthy son to live under the Stars 
and Stripes. 


"My urgent advice to you would be, not only always to think 
first of America, but always, also, to think first of humanity. 
You do not love humanity if you seek to divide humanity into 
jealous camps. Humanity can be welded together only by love, 
by sympathy, by justice, not by jealousy and hatred. I am sorry 
for the man who seeks to make personal capital out of the 
passions of his fellowmen. He has lost the touch and ideal of 
America, for America was created to unite mankind by those 
passions which lift, and not by the passions which separate and 
debase. We came to America, either ourselves or in the persons 
of our ancestors, to better the ideals of men, to make them see 
finer things than they had seen before, to get rid of the things 
that divide and to make sure of the things that unite. It was but 
an historical accident, no doubt, that this great country was 
called the 'United States'; yet I am very thankful that it has that 
word "United" in its title, and the man who seeks to divide man 
from man, group from group, interest from interest in this great 
Union, is striking at its very heart. 

"It is a very interesting circumstance to me, in thinking of 
those of you who have just sworn allegiance to this great Gov- 
ernment, that you were drawn across the ocean by some 
beckoning finger of hope, by some belief, by some vision of a 
new kind of justice, by some expectation of a better kind of life. 
No doubt you have been disappointed in some of us. Some of 
us are very disappointing. No doubt you have found that justice 
in the United States goes only with a pure heart and a right 
purpose, as it does everywhere else in the world. No doubt what 
you found here did not seem touched for you, after all, with the 
complete beauty of the idea which you had conceived 
beforehand. But remember this: If we had grown at all poor in 
the ideal, you had brought some of it with you. A man does not 
go out to seek the thing that is not in him. A man does not hope 
for the thing that he does not believe in, and if some of us have 
forgotten what America believed in, you, at any rate, imported 
in your own hearts a renewal of the belief. That is the reason 
that I, for one, make you welcome. If I have in any degree 
forgotten what America was intended for, I will thank God if 
you will remind me. I was born in America. You dreamed 
dreams of what America was to be, and I hope you brought the 
dreams with you. No man that does not see visions, will ever 
realize any high hope or undertake any high 


enterprise. Just because you brought dreams with you, America 
is more likely to realize dreams such as you brought. You are 
enriching us, if you came expecting us to be better than we are. 

"See, my friends, what that means. It means that Americans 
must have a consciousness different from the consciousness of 
every other nation of the world. I am not saying this with even 
the slightest thought of criticism of other nations. You know 
how it is with a family. A family gets centered on itself if it is 
not careful, and is less interested in the neighbors than it is in its 
own members. So a nation that is not constantly renewed out of 
new sources, is apt to have the narrowness and prejudice of a 
family; whereas America must have this consciousness, that on 
all sides it touches elbows and touches hearts with all the 
nations of mankind. The example of America must be a special 
example. The example of America must be the example not 
merely of peace because it will not fight, but of peace because 
peace is the healing and elevating influence of the world, and 
strife is not. There is such a thing as a man being too proud to 
fight. There is such a thing as a nation being so right, that it 
does not need to convince others by force that it is right. 

"You have come into this great Nation voluntarily seeking 
something that we have to give, and all that we have to give is 
this: We cannot exempt you from work. No man is exempt from 
work anywhere in the world. We cannot exempt you from the 
struggle of the day — that is common to mankind everywhere; 
we cannot exempt you from the loads that you must carry. We 
can only make them light by the spirit in which they are carried. 
That is the spirit of hope, it is the spirit of liberty, it is the spirit 
of justice. 

"When I was asked, therefore, by the Mayor and the com- 
mittee that accompanied him, to come up from Washington to 
meet this great company of newly admitted citizens, I could not 
decline the invitation. I ought not to be away from Washington, 
and yet I feel that it has renewed my spirit as an American to be 
here. In Washington men tell you so many things every day that 
are not so, and I like to come and stand in the presence of a 
great body of my fellow-citizens, whether they have been my 
fellow-citizens a long time or a short time, and drink, as it were, 
out of the common fountain with them, and go back feeling 
what you have so generously given me-the sense of your 
support, and of the living vitality in your 


hearts of the great ideals which have made America the hope of 
the world." 1 * 

This address was, of course, flashed all over the world. 
House had hardly despatched his letter of the nth to the 
President when, walking down Piccadilly, he caught a glimpse 
of one of the famous sandwich men, bearing a poster of an 
afternoon newspaper. This glaring broadside bore the following 
legend: "We are too proud to fight — Woodrow Wilson." The 
sight of that placard was House's first intimation that the 
President might not act vigorously. He made no attempt to 
conceal from Page and other important men at the American 
Embassy, the shock which it had given him. Soon the whole of 
England was ringing with these six words. The newspapers 
were filled with stinging editorials and cartoons, and the music 
halls found in the Wilsonian phrase, material for their choicest 
jibes. Even in more serious quarters, America was the subject of 
the most severe denunciation. 

"I feel," said House to Page, "as though I had been given a 
kick at every lamp post, coming down Constitution Hill." 

The reaction to this extraordinary speech was instant. "When 
the President declared, in the face of Europe's heroic dying and 
America's military incapacity, that there was such a thing as a 
nation being too proud to fight, the cosmic jest woke the 
derisive laughter of the world." 

Wilson had had difficulty in reaching an agreement with 
Bryan as to how far to go, and had apparently made the 
Philadelphia speech as a feeler of public opinion. He had, at any 
rate, tested public opinion sufficiently, to see that no surrender 
of American rights to Germany would be tolerated. 

The day after the speech, he stated to the Cabinet, that he 
wished it to hear House's views as to an answer to Germany. 
Thereupon he read House's cablegram of the 9th, and followed 
it with a memorandum, prepared as the basis of a note he 
proposed to send at once to the German Government. This 
disclosed the fact that, instead of severing 


diplomatic relations, he intended merely to call on Germany for 
full satisfaction, and assurances against further violations of 
American rights. 

Several members of the Cabinet deemed this insufficient. 
Bryan showed much heat, and declared some members of the 
Cabinet not neutral! Thereupon Wilson turned to him with a 
"steely glitter" in his eyes, and said: "Mr. Bryan, you are not 
warranted in making such an assertion. We all doubtless have 
our opinions in this matter, but there are none of us who can 
justly be accused of the unfair." Bryan then apologized, and the 
incident passed. 

According to Lawrence, there now occurred the most 
dramatic episode of the pre-war period in America, if not 
indeed in Wilson's first Administration. 119 A tremendous 
controversy has raged over the facts. 129 According to House, 
Thomas W. Gregory who had lately succeeded McReynolds as 
Attorney General, upon the latter's appointment to the Supreme 
Court, told him upon his reaching New York that after the 
Lusitania note had been despatched, Bryan laid before Wilson a 
communication for his signature, informing the Wilhelmstrasse 
that the American protest was to be taken only in a 
"Pickwickian Sense." This, according to House, Wilson had 
peremptorily rejected, while Gregory deemed that it would have 
been little short of treason. 103 The known facts negative this 
version. Lawrence's version is adopted here. 

After the Cabinet had reached an agreement as to the 
demand to be made on Germany, Bryan pleaded with Wilson to 
give Berlin another chance to accept the principle of arbitration, 
underlying the treaties he had been negotiating. Wilson yielded, 
and permitted Bryan to draft an instruction to Gerard to be sent 
simultaneously with the note, advising the German Government 
of the willingness of the United States to submit the questions at 
issue to a commission of investigation on the principle of the 
Bryan treaties, whereupon Bryan agreed to sign the note and did 

The supplementary instruction reached the State De- 
partment code room from the White House, and was about to be 
put in code and cabled to Berlin, when Lansing, 


Counsellor of State, learned about it. Not able to understand it, 
he communicated at once with Tumulty who, ignorant of its 
meaning himself, called upon his intimate friend, Secretary 
Garrison for information. Garrison was, like Lansing, 
astonished at this obvious recession from what had been agreed 
upon by the Cabinet. Fearful that Bryan was playing a trick on 
Wilson, other members of the Cabinet were informed by 
Garrison, while Tumulty pleaded with Wilson not to let the 
instruction to Gerard go forward. Protests from several Cabinet 
members followed; Wilson suppressed the instruction, and the 
note as approved by the Cabinet went forward with Bryan's 

Later, in the campaign of 1916, a garbled version of the 
incident came to light, and was never clearly explained. Senator 
Lodge of Massachusetts, in a Boston speech, read an account of 
a conversation between Professor Charles H. Bailey of Tufts 
Medical School, and Henry C. Brecken-ridge, Assistant 
Secretary of War under Garrison at the time of the so-called 
"postscript" episode. The Senator contended that Wilson's 
strong words were tempered with hints that they were not 
meant seriously, and that Germany defied American rights, 
because she believed the United States would not, under the 
Wilson administration, defend those rights. Wilson issued a 
statement from his headquarters at Long Branch, New Jersey, in 
reply to a query from Walter Lippmann, then an editor of the 
New Republic, as follows: 

"In reply to your telegram, let me say that the statement 
made by Senator Lodge is untrue. No postscript or amendment 
of the Lusitania note was ever written or contemplated by me, 
except such changes that I myself inserted, which strengthened 
and emphasized the protest. It was suggested, after the note was 
ready for transmission, that an intimation be conveyed to the 
German Government that a proposal for arbitration would be 
acceptable, and one member of the Cabinet spoke to me about 
it, but it was never discussed in Cabinet meeting, and no threat 
of any resignation was ever made, for the very good reason that 
I rejected the suggestion, after giving 


it such consideration as I thought every proposal deserved, 
which touched so grave a matter. It was inconsistent with the 
purpose of the note. The public is in possession of everything 
that was said to the German Government." 

"The foregoing statement," says Lawrence, "is one of the 
most remarkable pieces of adroit fencing which came from Mr. 
Wilson's pen. He had a theory that a diplomatic denial was 
absolutely essential in many cases, because the end justified 
the means. In this case, every line of Mr. Wilson's statement is 
true — literally taken. 

"In the first place, Mr. Wilson was right in saying that there 
was no postscript to the Lusitania note itself, nor was there any 
amendment of the note. Mr. Wilson was right when he said that 
he never wrote or contemplated writing any postscript or 
amendment, Mr. Bryan composed the supplementary 
instruction for Ambassador Gerard, and it was not a part of the 
original note but a separate communication. Mr. Wilson also 
revealed that 'it was suggested, after the note was ready for 
transmission, that an intimation be conveyed to the German 
Government that a proposal for arbitration will be acceptable.' 
He uses the word 'intimation' to cover the instruction which was 
to be sent to Ambassador Gerard. It was true that only one 
member of the Cabinet spoke to Mr. Wilson about it — that was 
Mr. Bryan. When the President stated that the suggestion was 
'inconsistent with the purpose of the note,' he revealed the 
conclusion he finally reached, which was contrary to his first 
decision. To his mind, the postscript, amendment, or 
supplementary instruction, did not exist officially, because it 
was never sent to Germany, and he spoke the real truth when he 
said 'the public is in possession of everything that was said to 
the German Government.' 

"Senator Lodge did, however, have in his possession, during 
that campaign, the elements of one of the biggest secrets of the 
administration, and if he had worded his accusation in a slightly 
different fashion, it would have been impossible to deny the 
existence of a supplementary instruction. Since the instruction 
was not sent to the Ger- 


man Government, Mr. Wilson regarded the affair as of no 
importance externally." 129 

The material part of the note which finally went forward 
was as follows: 

"The Government of the United States, therefore, desires to 
call the attention of the Imperial German Government with the 
utmost earnestness to the fact that the objection to their present 
method of attack against the trade of their enemies, lies in the 
practical impossibility of employing submarines in the destruc- 
tion of commerce without disregarding those rules of fairness, 
reason, justice, and humanity. It is practically impossible for the 
officers of a submarine to visit a merchantman at sea, and 
examine her papers and cargo. It is practically impossible for 
them to make a prize of her; and, if they cannot put a prize crew 
on board of her, they cannot sink her, without leaving her crew 
and all on board of her to the mercy of the sea in her small 
boats. . . . Manifestly submarines cannot be used against 
merchantmen, as the last few weeks have shown, without an 
inevitable violation of many sacred principles of justice and 

"American citizens act within their indisputable rights in 
taking their ships, and in travelling wherever their legitimate 
business calls them on the high seas, and exercise those rights 
in what should be the well-justified confidence that their lives 
will not be endangered by acts done in clear violation of uni- 
versally acknowledged international obligations, and certainly 
in the confidence that their own Government will sustain them 
in the exercise of their rights. 

"There was recently published in the newspapers of the 
United States, I regret to inform the Imperial German Govern- 
ment, a formal warning, purporting to come from the Imperial 
German Embassy at Washington, addressed to the people of the 
United States, and stating in effect that any citizen of the 
United States who exercised his right of free travel upon the 
seas, would do so at his peril if his journey should take him 
within the zone of waters within which the Imperial German 
Navy was using submarines against the commerce of Great 
Britain and France, notwithstanding the respectful, but very 
earnest protests of his Government, the Government of the 
United States. I do not refer to this for the purpose of calling 
the attention of the Imperial German Government at this time 


to the surprising irregularity of a communication from the Im- 
perial German Embassy at Washington, addressed to the people 
of the United States through the newspapers, but only for the 
purpose of pointing out that no warning that an unlawful and 
inhumane act will be committed, can possibly be accepted as 
an excuse or palliation for that act, or as an abatement of the re- 
sponsibility of its commission." 

"The Government of the United States cannot believe that 
the commanders of the vessels which committed these acts of 
lawlessness, did so except under a misapprehension of the 
orders issued by the Imperial German naval authorities ... It 
confidently expects, therefore, that the Imperial German 
Government will disavow the acts of which the Government of 
the United States complains, that they will make reparation, so 
far as reparation is possible, for injuries which are without 
measure, and that they will take immediate steps to prevent the 
recurrence of anything so obviously subversive of the principles 
of warfare for which the Imperial German Government have, in 
the past, so wisely and firmly contended. " 

"The Imperial German Government will not expect the 
Government of the United States to omit any word or any act 
necessary to the performance of its sacred duty of maintaining 
the rights of the United States and its citizens, and of safeguard- 
ing their free exercise and enjoyment." 

While the Lusitania note was in substance no more than a 
reiteration of the "strict accountability" note of February 12th, 
and was plainly lacking in finality, the promptness with which it 
received the approval of Taft, is conclusive of the influence 
which Marburg and the League to Enforce Peace had exerted 
upon Wilson. "Admirable in tone . . . dignified in the level the 
writer takes with respect to international obligations ... it may 
well call for our earnest concurrence and confirmation." So 
spoke the former Republican President who, looking at Wilson's 
words from an international viewpoint, was but expressing the 
opinion of the interest he was representing. 

The day the President's message was published, Wood 


received a telegram from the Adjutant General, forbidding any 
activities in connection with the students' summer camps. 
Wilson was still under the illusion that he was fooling 
Germany, by not permitting anything savoring of preparedness. 

In England, opinions varied greatly. According to Page, 
Lansdowne, Balfour, and Bonar Law of the opposition, 
privately praised the President's note. Writing in The English 
Review, Sidney Brooks insisted that "this note ranks with the 
greatest diplomatic literature. It seems as if one could see the 
President wrestling with the Wilhelm-strasse for the soul of 
Germany." The Times declared that "nothing less than the 
conscience of humanity makes itself audible in his (Wilson's) 
measured and incisive sentences." 

It was obvious that many of the leaders of British thought 
still had confidence in the ability of the Entente to crush the 
Central Allies with the aid of America's munitions alone, and 
were not anxious to have the supply of them interrupted by 
America's entering the war. It was under such influence, no 
doubt, that Page, who had advocated immediate intervention, 
now cabled his personal congratulations to the President. This 
was unfortunate. It could not fail to confirm Wilson in the 
conviction that his Ambassador to Great Britain did not have a 
mind of his own. 

Herrick and the Americans overseas generally, sorely tried 
in spirit, were utterly disgusted. From France, Whitney Warren 
wrote House that there was "a growing inclination" to believe 
that "the President has been influenced in the past, and still is 
influenced, by German tradition and inspiration." 

Immediately upon hearing of the sinking of the Lusi-tania, 
Harvey had expressed a serene and patriotic confidence that a 
"more dependable President than Mr. Wilson could not be 
desired." He was keenly disappointed when Wilson made it 
clear that he considered a mere verbal chastisement of Germany 
sufficient for the occasion. Harvey now entertained the gravest 
misgivings as to the wisdom of Wilson, and of a policy that was 
"too proud to fight." But it 


remained for Roosevelt to express the sentiments of the great 
body of Americans, who were demanding action instead of 
words. Like thousands of others, he deemed Wilson's statement 
concerning "the humane and enlightened attitude assumed by 
the Imperial German Government in matters of international 
right, and particularly in regard to the freedom of the seas," a 
reckless perversion of the facts. The further statement by 
Wilson that he had "learned to recognize the German views and 
the German influence in the field of international obligation as 
always engaged upon the side of justice and humanity," was 
equally shocking to a logical mind. 

"If Mr. Bryan had written this," says Thayer, "no one would 
have been astonished, because Mr. Bryan made no pretense of 
knowing even the rudimentary facts of history; but that 
President Wilson, by profession a historian, should laud, as 
being always engaged in justice and humanity, the nation 
which, under Frederick the Great, had stolen Silesia and 
dismembered Poland, and which, in his own lifetime, had 
garroted Denmark, had forced a wicked war on Austria, had 
trapped France by lies into another war, and robbed her of 
Alsace-Lorraine, and had only recently wiped its hands, 
dripping with blood drawn from the Chinese, was amazing!" 

"Small wonder if after that," Thayer continued, "the German 
hyphenates lifted up their heads arrogantly in this country, or 
that the Kaiser in Germany believed that the United States was 
a mere jelly-fish nation, which would tolerate any enormity he 
might concoct. This was the actual comfort President Wilson 
gave Germany. The negative result was felt among the Allied 
nations which, struggling against the German Monster like 
Laocoon in the coils of the Python, took Mr. Wilson's praise of 
Germany's imaginary love of justice and humanity as a death- 
warrant for themselves. They could not believe that he who 
wrote such words, or the American people who swallowed 
thern, could ever be roused to give succor to the Allies in their 

"Three years later I asked Roosevelt what he would 


have done, if he had been President in May, 1915. He said, in 
substance, that, as soon as he had read in the New York 
newspaper, the advertisement which Bernstorff had inserted, 
warning all American citizens from taking passage on the 
Lusitania, he would have sent for Bernstorff, and asked him 
whether the advertisement was officially acknowledged by him. 
Even Bernstorff, arch-liar that he was, could not have denied it. 
'I should have then sent to the Department of State to prepare 
his passports; I should have handed them to him and said, "You 
will sail on the Lusitania yourself next Friday; an American 
guard will see you on board, and prevent you coming ashore." 
The breaking off of diplomatic relations with Germany,' 
Roosevelt added, 'would probably have meant war, and we were 
horribly unprepared. But better war than submission to a 
humiliation which no President of this country has ever before 
allowed; better war a thousand times, than to let the Germans go 
on really making war upon us at sea, and honeycombing the 
American people with plots on land, while our Government 
shamelessly lavished praise on the criminal for his justice and 
humanity and virtually begged his pardon.' " 2U 



More Secret Diplomacy. The Evil Machinations of 

Bryan Continue. He Oversteps and is Detected by 

Gerard and House. In Wilson's Power at Last. 

THE NEXT STEP in the program of the Internationalists after 
the despatch of the Lusitania note, was the resumption of 
efforts to induce Germany to accept the old compromise 
proposal which Wilson had first put forward in February. 
House took the matter up at once with Grey. "He was very fine 
about it," wrote House to Wilson. "He said of course it would 
be to the advantage of Great Britain for the United States to 
enter the war, and if he agreed to do what we requested, it 
would mean that the United States would remain neutral. 
Nevertheless, he wanted to do what we considered to be for our 
best interests, and what, indeed, he thought was in the long run 
for Great Britain's best interests." 

Wilson cabled House on May 16th, expressing deep interest 
in the plan. "He looked upon it," says Seymour, "not merely as 
a means of ending the crisis in German-American relations, but 
also as affording a possible solution of the quarrel with England 
over the blockade. For the sake of diplomatic consistency, he 
asserted, he would soon have to address a note to Great Britain, 
regarding the interruption of American trade with neutral ports. 
It would be a great stroke on England's part, he added, if she 
would of her own accord relieve the situation, and put Germany 
wholly in the wrong, a small price to pay for the ending of 
submarine outrages." 

Having authorized House to proceed, Wilson repaired to 
New York to deliver an address on the Navy before the Mayor's 


"MR. Mayor, Mr. Secretary, Admiral Fletcher, and 
Gentlemen of the Fleet: 

"This is not an occasion upon which, it seems to me, it would 
be wise for me to make many remarks, but I would deprive 
myself of a great gratification if I did not express my pleasure in 
being here, my gratitude for the splendid reception which has 
been accorded me as the representative of the Nation, and my 
profound interest in the Navy of the United States. That is an 
interest with which I was apparently born, for it began when I 
was a youngster, and has ripened with my knowledge of the 
affairs and policies of the United States. 

"I think it is a natural, instinctive judgment of the people of 
the United States, that they express their power most appro- 
priately in an efficient navy, and their interest in their ships is 
partly, I believe, because that Navy is expected to express their 
character, not within our own borders where that character is 
understood, but outside our borders, where it is hoped we may 
occasionally touch others with some slight vision of what 
America stands for. 

"Before I speak of the Navy of the United States, I want to 
take advantage of the first public opportunity I have had to 
speak of the Secretary of the Navy, to express my confidence 
and my admiration, and to say that he has my unqualified sup- 
port. For I have counseled with him in intimate fashion; I know 
how sincerely he has it at heart that everything that the Navy 
does and handles, should be done and handled as the people of 
the United States wish it handled. Efficiency is something more 
than organization. Efficiency runs to the extent of lifting the 
ideals of a service above every personal interest. So when I 
speak of my support, I speak of what I know every true lover of 
the Navy to desire and to purpose; for the Navy of the United 
States is, as I have said, a body specially intrusted with the 
ideals of America. 

"I like to imagine in my thought this idea: These quiet ships 
lying in the river have no suggestion of bluster about them, no 
intimation of aggression. They are commanded by men 
thoughtful of the duty of citizens as well as the duty of officers, 
men acquainted with the traditions of the great service to which 
they belong, men who know by touch with the people of the 
United States, what sort of purposes they ought to entertain and 
what sort of discretion they ought to exercise, in order to use 


those engines of force as engines to promote the interests of 

"The interesting and inspiring thing about America, gentle- 
men, is that she asks nothing for herself, except what she has a 
right to ask for humanity itself. We want no nation's property. 
We mean to question no nation's honor. We do not wish to 
stand selfishly in the way of the development of any nation. We 
want nothing that we cannot get by our own legitimate en- 
terprise, and by the inspiration of our own example; and, 
standing for these things, it is not pretension on our part to say 
that we are privileged to stand for what every nation would 
wish to stand for, and speak for those things which all humanity 
must desire. 

"When I think of the flag which those ships carry, the only 
touch of color about them, the only thing that moves as if it had 
a subtle spirit in it, in their solid structures, it seems to me that I 
see alternate strips of parchment upon which are written the 
rights of liberty and justice, and stripes of blood spilt to 
vindicate those rights; and, then, in the corner, a prediction of 
the blue serene into which every nation may swim, which 
stands for these things. 

"The mission of America is the only thing that a sailor or a 
soldier should think about. He has nothing to do with the 
formulation of her policy. He is to support her policy whatever 
it is; but he is to support her policy in the spirit of herself, and 
the strength of our policy is that we, who for the time being 
administer the affairs of this Nation, do not originate her spirit. 
We attempt to embody it; we attempt to realize it in action; we 
are dominated by it, we do not dictate it. 

"So with every man in arms who serves the Nation; he 
stands and waits to do the thing which the Nation desires. Those 
who represent America sometimes seem to forget her programs, 
but the people never forget them. It is as startling as it is 
touching to see how, whenever you touch a principle, you touch 
the hearts of the people of the United States. They listen to your 
debates of policy, they determine which party they will prefer to 
power, they choose and prefer as between men, but their real 
affection, their real force, their real irresistible momentum is for 
the ideas which men embody. I never go on the streets of a great 
city without feeling that somehow I do not confer, elsewhere 
than on the streets, with the great spirit of the people 
themselves, going about their business, attending to the 


things which immediately concern them, and yet carrying a 
treasure at their hearts all the while, ready to be stirred not only 
as individuals but as members of a great union of hearts that 
constitutes a patriotic people. This sight in the river touches me 
merely as a symbol of all this; and it quickens the pulse of every 
man who realizes these things, to have anything to do with 
them. When a crisis occurs in this country, gentlemen, it is as if 
you put your hand on the pulse of a dynamo, it is as if the things 
that you were in connection with, were spiritually bred, as if 
you had nothing to do with them except, if you listen truly, to 
speak of the things that you hear. 

"These things now brood over the river; this spirit now 
moves with the men who represent the Nation in the Navy; 
these things will move upon the waters in the manoeuvers — no 
threat lifted against any man, against any nation, against any 
interest, but just a great solemn evidence that the force of 
America is the force of moral principle, that there is nothing 
else that she loves, and that there is nothing else for which she 
will contend." 190 

The country was mystified. When analyzed, however, in the 
light of what was going on between Grey and House, the 
purpose of the speech is plain. Wilson was trying to do two 
things — relieve the tension in the United States by satisfying 
both the militarists and the pacifists, and, at the same time, 
point out to Germany the necessity on her part of cooperating 
with him in his efforts to preserve neutrality, by reconsidering 
favorably the proposal of a compromise with Britain which 
House was soon to put forward. 

But House himself no longer believed that Germany would 
alter her methods of naval warfare, unless some more potent 
factor than the protests of the United States could be brought to 
bear. On May 18th, he wrote McAdoo: "The German mind 
seems not to understand anything excepting hard knocks, and 
they have a curious idea that we will not fight under any 
circumstances. As a matter of fact, this idea is prevalent 
throughout Europe, and will sooner or later involve us in war." 
Nevertheless, obedient to orders, he was still willing to "play 
the game." Thus, after conferring with Lord Haldane, the 
"Super-Ambassador" resumed his efforts of the early Spring to 
trick the Wilhelm- 


strasse into accepting the compromise that was designed to 
place Germany at the mercy of an Anglo-American com-bine. 
On May 19th, he cabled Gerard: 

"... Can you not induce the German Government to answer 
our note, by proposing that if England will permit foodstuffs in 
the future to go to neutral ports without question, Germany will 
discontinue her submarine warfare on merchant vessels, and 
will also discontinue the use of poisonous gas? Such a proposal 
from Germany at this time, will give her great advantage, and in 
my opinion she will make a grave mistake if she does not seize 

Thus it is seen that in the great crisis of May, 1915, when 
the world was awaiting Germany's reply to the American note, 
Wilson and House were deceiving the American people, Grey 
was deceiving the British people, and the three of them were 
trying to deceive the Germans! This in the name of 
representative government and humanity ! 

The published letters of Page bear evidence of the utter 
demoralization of the State Department throughout the Wilson 
Administration. With House in Europe much of the time, 
dealing over the heads of, and at cross purposes with, both the 
Secretary of State and the American Ambassador to England, 
and the latter and Bryan at loggerheads, nothing else was to be 
expected. Nevertheless, no attempt was made by the 
Department to keep the London Embassy informed as to what 
was taking place in Washington. Page's letters and cablegrams 
were, for the most part, unacknowledged and unanswered, and 
the American Ambassador was frequently obliged to obtain his 
information about the state of feeling in Washington from Sir 
Edward Grey. "Leaks" in the State Department were constantly 
taking place. The Ambassador would send the most confidential 
cipher despatches to his superior, cautioning the Department 
that they must be held inviolably secret, only to find in the 
London newspapers next morning, everything he had cabled to 

All this was extremely irregular and unpardonably rep- 


rehensible. "There is only one way to reform the State 
pepartment," Page said to House at this time. "That is to raze 
the whole building, with its archives and papers, to the ground, 
and begin all over again. " 

This state of affairs in Washington explains the curious fact 
that the real diplomatic history of the United States and Great 
Britain during this great crisis, is not to be found in the archives 
of the State Department, for the official documents on file there 
consist only of routine telegrams, not particularly informing. 

A President who tolerated such conditions, is no efficient 
executive. Wilson cannot escape responsibility for the misdeeds 
of Bryan. 

While House and Gerard were engaged in trying to trick the 
Wilhelmstrasse, and Bryan was keeping his friends Dumba and 
Bernstorff thoroughly posted as to what was going on, the 
President availed himself of an opportunity to indulge in further 
rhetoric. In an address to the Pan-American Financial 
Conference in Washington on May 24th, he said: 

"It is very surprising to me, it is even a source of mortifica- 
tion, that a conference like this should have been so long de- 
layed, that it should never have occurred before, that it should 
have required a crisis of the world to show the Americas how 
truly they were neighbors to one another. If there is any one 
happy circumstance, gentlemen, arising out of the present dis- 
tressing condition of the world, it is that it has revealed us to 
one another; it has shown us what it means to be neighbors. 
And I can not help harboring the hope, the very high hope, that 
by this commerce of minds with one another, as well as 
commerce in goods, we may show the world in part the path to 
peace. It would be a very great thing if the Americans could 
add to the distinction which they already wear, this of showing 
the way to peace, to permanent peace. 

"The way to peace for us, at any rate, is manifest. It is the 
kind of rivalry which does not involve aggression. It is the 
knowledge that men can be of the greatest service to one an- 
other, and nations of the greatest service to one another, when 
the jealousy between them is merely a jealousy of excellence, 
and when the basis of their intercourse is friendship. There is 


only one way in which we wish to take advantage of you, and 
that is by making better goods, by doing the things that we seek 
to do for each other better, if we can, than you do them, and so 
spurring you on, if we might, by so handsome a jealousy as that 
to excel us. I am so keenly aware that the basis of personal 
friendship is this competition in excellence, that I am perfectly 
certain that this is the only basis for the friendship of nations, — 
this handsome rivalry, this rivalry in which there is no dislike, 
this rivalry in which there is nothing but the hope of a common 
elevation in great enterprises which we can undertake in 

"There is one thing that stands in our way among others — 
for you are more conversant with the circumstances than I am; 
the thing I have chiefly in mind is the physical lack of means of 
communication, the lack of vehicles, — the lack of ships, the 
lack of established routes of trade, — the lack of those things 
which are absolutely necessary if we are to have true 
commercial and intimate commercial relations with one 
another; and I am perfectly clear in my judgment that, if private 
capital can not soon enter upon the adventure of establishing 
these physical means of communication, the government must 
undertake to do so. We can not indefinitely stand apart and need 
each other, for the lack of what can easily be supplied, and if 
one instrumentality can not supply it, then another must be 
found which will supply it. We can not know each other unless 
we see each other; we can not deal with each other unless we 
communicate with each other. So soon as we communicate and 
are upon a familiar footing of intercourse, we shall understand 
one another, and the bonds between the Americas will be such 
bonds that no influence that the world may produce in the 
future, will ever break them. 

"If I am selfish for America, I at least hope that my selfish- 
ness is enlightened. The selfishness that hurts the other party is 
not enlightened selfishness. If I were acting upon a mere ground 
of selfishness, I would seek to benefit the other party and so tie 
him to myself; so that even if you were to suspect me of 
selfishness, I hope you will also suspect me of intelligence, and 
of knowing the only safe way for the establishment of the 
things which we covet, as well as the establishment of the 
things which we desire, and which we would feel honored if we 
could earn and win. 

"I have said these things because they will perhaps enable 


you to understand how far from formal my welcome to this 
body is. It is a welcome from the heart, it is a welcome from the 
head; it is a welcome inspired by what I hope are the highest 
ambitions of those who live in these two great continents, who 
seek to set an example to the world in freedom of institutions, 
freedom of trade, and intelligence of mutual service." 

Again the country was mystified. Apparently, at the very 
time the President should be impressing the German 
Government with the determination of the Nation to enforce its 
rights, he was speaking about humanity as a whole, and the 
nobility of America's neutral course. But again his words were 
wasted upon the German Government, if not upon the 

Whatever the ultimate decision of the British Cabinet might 
have been, the German Government put an end to any chance of 
a compromise settlement by a brusque refusal to consider 
House's suggestion. In public, the plain-tiveness of German 
protests against the cruel starvation of women and children by 
the British was not diminished, but in private the German 
leaders were evidently unwilling to pay the price necessary to 
raise the blockade. They were determined to make full use of 
the submarine, and they were the less inclined to heed 
American warnings, now that they were convinced by Page and 
Gerard that the United States would support its warnings with 
verbal quibbles only. Two messages from Gerard to House 
carried the news of the failure of the proposed compromise, and 
indicated what he deemed the cause. 

"Colonel House to the President " (Telegram) "London, May 
24, 1915. "Gerard cables me as follows: 'Zimmermann told me 
yesterday that Dumba, Austrian Ambassador, had cabled him 
that Bryan told him that America was not in earnest about 
Lusitania matter.' Of course Mr. Bryan did not say that, but I 
think you should know what Zimmermann told Gerard. . . . 

"E. M. HOUSE." 

Gerard himself tells the following strange story: "Sometime 
after I had delivered our first Lusitania Note 


of May nth, 1915, Zimmermann was lunching with us. A good 
looking American woman, married to a German, was also of the 
party, and after lunch, although I was talking to some one else, I 
overheard part of her conversation with Zimmermann. When 
Zimmermann left, I asked her what it was that he had said about 
America, Germany, Mr. Bryan, and the Lusitania. She then told 
me that she had said to Zimmermann that it was a great pity that 
we were to leave Berlin, as it looked as if diplomatic relations 
between the two countries would be broken, and that 
Zimmermann told her not to worry about that, because they had 
just received word from the Austrian Government that Dr. 
Dumba, the Austrian Ambassador in Washington, had cabled 
that the Lusitania Note from America to Germany was only sent 
as a sop to public opinion in America, and that the Government 
did not really mean what was said in that note. I then called on 
Zimmermann at the Foreign Office, and he showed me Dumba's 
telegram which was substantially as stated above. Of course I 
immediately cabled to the State Department, and also got word 
to President Wilson. The rest of the incident is public property. 
I, of course, did not know what actually occurred between Mr. 
Bryan and Dr. Dumba, but I am sure Dr. Dumba must have 
misunderstood friendly statements made by Mr. Bryan. 

"It was very lucky that I discovered the existence of this 
Dumba cablegram in this manner, which savours almost of 
diplomacy as represented on the stage. If the Germans had gone 
on in the belief that the Lusitania Note was not really meant, 
war would have inevitably resulted at that time between 
Germany and America, and it shows how great events may be 
shaped by heavy luncheons and a pretty woman." 85 

The Dumba cable was as follows: 

"The United States desires no war. Her notes, however 
strongly worded, meant no harm, but had to be written in order 
to pacify excited public opinion of America. The Berlin Gov- 
ernment therefore need not feel itself injured, but need only 
make suitable concessions if it desires to put an end to the 
dispute." 27 


While Wilson and House were excluding Bryan from their 
confidence, he had resorted to a stroke of diplomacy of his own, 
which could not fail to defeat their efforts. Needless to say the 
world generally, let alone the United States, was the victim of 
these indefensible methods. Bryan felt, apparently, that since he 
had signed the note after a definite agreement with Wilson, he 
had a right to interpret it in accordance with that agreement. 
Thus he undertook to overrule Wilson's change of policy under 
Cabinet pressure. 



The Modern Lysistratans Assemble at The Hague, Mar- 
burg and House Undertake to Foil Bryan and the Lysis- 
tratans. Swapping Horses in Mexico. The German 
Reply and Wilson's Rejoinder. 

WHEN ARISTOPHANES wrote his immortal comedy — 
Lysistrata — he put an idea into women's heads, which 
they have never forgotten. Socialist activities had 
hitherto been restricted by patriotic appeals from the belligerent 
governments; moreover, open opposition would have been 
treason. Wilson's constant exaltation of American democracy 
and the ideal of peace finally took effect on the Socialists of the 
neutral countries; and when, with the sinking of the Lusitania, 
even America seemed on the brink of war, Dr. Jacobs, a 
Dutchwoman and prominent Socialist, called on all the neutrals, 
in the name of the Women's Peace Conference, to send 
representatives to the Hague. 

Bryan was in complete sympathy with the modern 
Lysistratans. Miss Jane Addams, an American with strong 
Socialist leanings, hurried to The Hague, and was promptly 
elected presiding officer of the Conference. 

The plan agreed on was to induce Wilson to head a 
movement among neutrals to enforce peace by cutting off 
supplies from the belligerents. Inasmuch as this would have 
benefited the Central Allies at the expense of their opponents, 
Dr. Jacobs, the proponent of the plan, was strongly suspected of 
being a German agent. 

This was but another whirlwind sprung of the Inter- 
nationalist plot. Socialism and Pacifism were now running hand 
in hand. Frau Salenka of Munich, and Rosika Von 


Schwimmer of Austria, were noted radicals. Hardly had the 
Conference convened, when, on May 26th, the Nebras-kan, 
another American vessel, was torpedoed. Then, on the 28th, 
came Germany's reply to the American note of the 13th. "Our 
answer temporized," admitted von Tir-pitz. It alleged that the 
Lusitania's instant sinking was due to the explosion of the 
ammunition she was transporting, and requested time for 
further investigation. 

In view of the Nebraskan incident, it should have been 
obvious that this note was designed to prolong discussion in 
Germany's interest, and that the Wilhelmstrasse was but seeking 
to play on the hopes of Wilson and Bryan. 

The pressure on Wilson for intervention was likely to 
become irresistible, in the event of another untoward incident. 
The Internationalists felt that something must be done to 
support him, and at the same time prevent Bryan and the 
Women's Peace Conference from stirring up the radicals, and 
bringing about a premature peace. 

Marburg knew that what politicians fear most are organized 
votes. Therefore he decided to complete the organization of the 
American Branch of the League to Enforce Peace. Ostensibly 
an agency to promote a league of nations, it was also to enforce 
suitable action on Wilson and the Democratic party. Finally, it 
was to organize world opinion to isolate the recalcitrant German 
Government. The German people might be led by powerful 
propaganda to overthrow it themselves. Having virtually 
absorbed in the American Branch of the League of Nations, the 
personnel of the American Association for International 
Conciliation, and the American Society for Judicial Settlement 
of International Disputes, Marburg sent out the four articles in 
which he and Taft had cast the Constitution of the League to 
Enforce Peace, signed by one hundred and twenty eminent men, 
with invitations to assemble on June 17th in Philadelphia to 
consider the League's proposals. 

These proposals were stated as follows: 

"It is desirable for the United States to join a league of na- 
tions, binding the signatories to the following: 


"First: All justiciable questions arising between the signa- 
tory powers, not settled by negotiation, shall, subject to the 
limitation of treaties, be submitted to a judicial tribunal for 
hearing and judgment, both upon the merits, and upon any issue 
as to its jurisdiction of the question. 

"Second: All other questions arising between the signatories 
and not settled by negotiation, shall be submitted to a Council 
of Conciliation for hearing, consideration, and recommenda- 

"Third: The signatory powers shall jointly use forthwith 
both their economic and military forces against any one of their 
number that goes to war, or commits acts of hostility, against 
another of the signatories, before any question arising shall be 
submitted as provided in the foregoing. 

"Fourth: Conferences between the signatory powers shall be 
held from time to time to formulate and codify rules of inter- 
national law, which, unless some signatory shall signify its dis- 
sent within a stated period, shall thereafter govern in the deci- 
sions of the Judicial Tribunal mentioned in Article One." 

Among those whose names appeared upon the invitation 
were Lyman Abbott, Editor of The Outlook, Edwin A. 
Alderman, President of the University of Virginia, James B. 
Angell, later President of Yale, James M. Beck, Alexander 
Graham Bell, Jacob M. Dickinson, formerly Secretary of War, 
William H. P. Faunce, President of Brown University, James 
Cardinal Gibbons, John Hays Hammond, James Grier Hibben, 
President of Princeton, David Starr Jordan, President of 
Stanford University, A. Lawrence Lowell, President of Harvard, 
Governor James B. Mc-Creary of Kentucky, Alton B. Parker, 
Jacob H. Schiff, Isaac Seligman, Robert Sharp, President of 
Tulane, William H. Short, Secretary of the New York Peace 
Society, Oscar S. Straus, Member of the Hague Court, William 
H. Taft, Benjamin Ide Wheeler, President of University of Cali- 
fornia, William Allen White, Senator John Sharp Williams, and 
Rabbi Stephen S. Wise. 

"On May 31st," says von Tirpitz, "there was a general 
meeting to discuss the question of the submarine policy, the 
Emperor presiding. Admiral von Muller informed Admiral 
Bachmann and myself immediately he arrived, 


that the Chancellor refused to be responsible for the campaign 
in its existing form. Von Treutler and General von Falkenhayn 
were of the same opinion as the Chancellor. The Chief of the 
Naval Staff and myself, on the contrary, maintained the view 
that it was technically impossible to comply with the 
Chancellor's demand that the campaign should be so conducted 
as to avoid any political conflict, and that His Majesty would 
accordingly have to decide whether it was to be carried on at all 
or not. The Emperor agreed with our point of view, and said 
that if the Chancellor would not accept the responsibility for the 
entire abandonment of the campaign, the existing orders must 
stand. The result of the discussion was, accordingly, the issue of 
an order to the submarine commanders, containing renewed and 
comprehensive instructions as to sparing neutral vessels (which 
had already been the subject of an earlier order), leaving 
untouched on the other hand the instruction for the sinking of 
all English vessels, without any exception." 2z ~ 

Already House, like Page and Gerard, had concluded that 
war was inevitable. "I told Plunkett," he wrote on June 1st, 
"that I was leaving for America, and my reasons for doing so. I 
said it was my purpose to persuade the President not to conduct 
a milk-and-water war, but to put all the strength, all the virility, 
and all the energy of our nation into it, so that Europe might 
remember for a century what it meant to provoke a peaceful 
nation into war. 

"I intended to suggest a commission, with perhaps a 
member of the Cabinet as chairman, to facilitate the manu- 
facture of munitions of war and war materials. Plunkett wanted 
me to see some of the British Cabinet and talk with them 
before I left. He arranged for me to meet Lloyd George at six 

When the Women's Peace Conference assembled, there was 
such a grave and widespread suspicion that Dr. Jacobs was a 
German agent, and her associates but the dupes of the 
Wilhelmstrasse, that the Conference found itself more or less 
helpless from the first. After Miss Addams had visited Berlin, 
delegates were deputed to present peace 


proposals to all the neutral governments. Dr. Jacobs herself, 
attended by Miss Addams and Miss Emily Balch, were 
assigned to America, where they were assured of: the utmost 
cooperation on the part of Bryan. 

Wilson, Marburg and House had been fully aware of 
Bryan's dealings with Bernstorff and Dumba. Why had the 
President permitted them? Had he been allowing the Secretary 
of State rope to hang himself, until there was sufficient 
evidence to force him out of the Cabinet, and silence him 
forever? This is not only possible, but even likely. 

While Bryan's dealings with the Germans amounted to little 
less than treason, and public opinion would demand his 
dismissal if the facts were known, Wilson was too shrewd a 
politician not to exploit to the full the commanding advantage 
he now possessed. It was possible to arrange for Bryan's 
resignation in a way that would seal his lips forever, and 
simultaneously secure his friendship for future use, with infinite 
advantage, in the 1916 campaign. 

It was not difficult for Wilson to show Bryan the position in 
which he had placed the Administration. Too many people 
knew of the Dumba incident to permit the President even to 
consider condoning it, unless Bryan could retrieve the situation. 
These things being so, there was but one possible solution of 
the problem which Bryan himself had created. He must either 
obtain from the German Government, through his friend 
Bernstorff, the necessary concessions, or resign quickly and 
quietly upon some pretext, in order to save the President, the 
Democratic party, and himself as well. The evident willingness 
of the President to help him extricate himself, as far as this was 
possible, might very well appeal to his sense of gratitude. 

Exactly what Wilson said to Bryan will probably never be 
known, but the evidence is conclusive that the issue was joined 
by Wilson soon after the receipt of the German reply on the 
28th. And while apparently Bryan did not fathom what was in 
the minds of Wilson and House, or see that they were but taking 
advantage of the present situation to rid themselves of him, it is 
certain he set out at once to 


retrieve himself by serving notice on Bernstorff that more than 
the German note of May 28th was necessary. 27 

The German situation was not the only matter with which 
Wilson now proposed to deal. The Mexicans had been having 
pretty much their own way under Bryan's plan of pacification. 
The Lusitania incident had but emboldened Carranza to go 
further in his obvious cooperation with the Wilhelmstrasse. 
Wilson now deemed the threat of recognizing Iturbide as the 
best means of getting rid of Carranza, despite Bryan's desire 
that the latter be recognized. 

Bryan was a few minutes late at the Cabinet meeting of June 
1st. He seemed to be laboring under a great strain, and sat back 
in his chair with his eyes closed. Wilson read a draft of a 
proposed warning to the Mexican factions. Lane thought the 
President ought to make it clear that the Government would get 
behind another Mexican leader, Iturbide, and that steps ought to 
be taken to get him in touch with financiers who would back 
him. Bryan thought the way ought to be left open to recognize 
Carranza, who had been fighting so long for liberty, and not 
take up a man who would probably side with the reactionaries. 
Another member suggested that "we ought to have clearly in 
mind the steps we would take in case nothing happened," and 
not commit ourselves in the note to any individual. Wilson 
seemed much surprised at the many and divergent suggestions, 
and said so with some emphasis, adding that the note embodied 
what seemed to him to be the consensus of opinion of the last 
Cabinet meeting. He asked for an explanation of the "singular 
change of mind." Nobody ventured to enlighten him. 

"I reminded him," says Houston, "that I had been absent 
from the last few meetings, and expressed the hope that what I 
might say would not be based on a misapprehension. 

"The note purports to be a solemn warning. From its 
phraseology, the people would, of course, regard it as such, and 
also as a change of policy. But I find no indication of a change 
of policy, and no hint that anything else will 


happen. In effect it says: 'We have tried Carranza, and hoped 
for something from Villa and others. They have failed us. 
Now, we will look around and see if we can find another 
promising bandit. Perhaps Iturbide would do!' This does not 
mean a change of policy. It is a continuance of the present 
policy. We simply propose to play our cards on a new man. I 
know the new man. He is the best of the outfit I have seen, but 
I have no real faith in him. Like most of his kind, he is vain 
and vainglorious. I do not believe he can do anything. He has 
not the right fiber, and if he prevailed, he would do nothing for 
the Mexican people. He wants to get in, not for their sake, but 
for his own. To that extent I agree with Mr. Bryan. 

"I have no faith in Carranza. He is dull and pigheaded. If 
he has any intelligence, he takes great pains to conceal it. Villa 
is a roughneck and a murderer. He is clearly impossible. 

"If you propose to back a new man, do not announce a 
change of policy, or issue a solemn warning. Simply quickly go 
ahead, back him, and let the proper parties know that you will 
approve their support of him. I notice you conclude by saying 
that, if the leaders do not get together, you will turn elsewhere 
for suggestions. What does this mean? Who will give them? 
This will scarcely appear to be an adequate conclusion of a note 
conveying a solemn warning, and announcing a change of 
policy. The people will have a right to believe that you have 
definitely in mind a real solution of the problem, and are 
prepared to see it through. They will expect to see you take 
drastic action if necessary. The people may or may not now 
wish intervention, but they would have a right to conclude from 
this statement that you have it in mind, in case your warning is 
not heeded. " 

At this Bryan vigorously shook his head. The President 
asked what Houston would suggest. "I said: 'Either do not issue 
the statement, or conclude it with definite intimation that if the 
Mexican situation does not clear, you will be compelled to 
recommend to Congress the steps 


which this government should take to bring an intolerable 
condition of things to an end.' " 106 

Wilson was not deterred either by Bryan or Houston, so 
that a note, in substance the same as the one he had prepared, 
was despatched the next day. The members of the cabinet 
might as well have kept their own counsel. 

Having arrived at a decision concerning Iturbide and 
Carranza in the way shown, the President next took up the 
German reply of May 28th to the Lusitania note, reading the 
draft of the reply he had prepared. 

Garrison urged that the rejoinder contain no discussion of 
details or facts. Germany should be made to say, first, "whether 
or not she accepted the principle we stood for. If she did not, 
there was nothing to discuss; if she did, we could then canvass 
details with her." 

Bryan wanted to know what was going to be done about 
England's interference with American trade. He wanted a 
strong note sent, protesting against her illegal action in holding 
up American exports, particularly cotton. There was instant 
objection to such a course from several members of the 
Cabinet. They strongly resisted consideration of material 
interests at a moment when a grave issue involving human 
lives, was under discussion. 

Bryan became excited. He said that he had all along insisted 
on a note to England; that she was "illegally preventing our 
exports from going where we had a right to send them." When 
the Cabinet strongly protested against a note to England, Wilson 
sharply rebuked Bryan, saying that his remarks were unfair and 
unjust. "We had lodged a protest with England and might do so 
again at the proper time, but this would be a singularly 
inappropriate time to take up such a matter with her." 
Furthermore, he had had indications that the control of shipping 
would be taken out of Lord Fisher's hands, that there would be 
Cabinet changes, and that "our reasonable demands" would be 
met. Certainly, in any event, "when we had before us a grave 
issue with the Germans, it would be folly to force an issue of 
such character on England. We were merely trying to look at 
our duty and all our problems objectively." 


Houston suggested that the President assumed, in his note, 
that the German reply accepted the principle for which he was 
contending, adding that Germany had delayed saying so, 
pending the receipt of information as to the arming of the 
Lusitania, and as to its carrying munitions. He wanted the facts 
given to Germany, and the demand contained in the first note 

Although it is evident the Cabinet did not know what was 
going on between Wilson and Bryan, they suspected 
something, as shown by the further comments of Houston. 

"As we left the meeting, I said to two of my colleagues that 
Bryan would 'fly the coop' if the President showed firmness 
toward either Mexico or Germany, or even if Bryan became 
convinced that the President meant what he said in his first 
note. Bryan evidently had not taken the first note very 
seriously. He imagined, apparently, either that nothing further 
would happen, or that Germany would comply with our wishes 
as a matter of course, or that we would back down. I had the 
feeling after the meeting that, if necessary to avoid trouble, 
Bryan would be willing to tell Germany that we did not mean 
anything by the first note, and that she should not take it 
seriously." ** 

As a matter of fact, Bryan handed Wilson during this 
Cabinet meeting, a note which Bernstorff had been prompt to 
obtain, in the hope of saving Bryan. In this new note, dated June 
1st, the freedom of all parts of the open sea to neutral ships was 
admitted. Willingness on the part of Germany to acknowledge 
liability for further attacks on neutral vessels not guilty of 
hostile acts, was also expressed. But beyond this the German 
Government had not dared to go. Liability for the destruction of 
the Lusitania must be left to argument, and the German 
Government had obviously no idea of admitting it. 

Bryan was doomed — his contention that the second German 
reply was adequate, vain. Again he had to notify Bernstorff that 
the handwriting was on the wall. Wilson 

* Houston, Vol. I, pp. 136-139. ** Houston, Vol. 1, p. 139. 


had no idea of surrendering the advantage that was his. 
Bernstorff must make one more effort to save Bryan. 

"I resolved," says Bernstorff, "without waiting for in- 
structions from Berlin, to make use of my privileged position as 
Ambassador, to demand an audience with the President. I heard 
later, among other things, when I was at Manila, that on this 
very day, June 2nd, all preparations had been made for breaking 
off relations, and for the inevitable resulting war. As a result of 
my interview, however, they were cancelled. I had a long 
conversation with the President and two of his advisers. Mr. 
Wilson felt the position acutely, and was animated solely by a 
desire to preserve peace. We both realized that it was a question 
of gaining time, and succeeded in coming to an agreement on 
the measures to be taken to mitigate the crisis. We took the 
view that the isolation of Germany had given rise to an 
atmosphere of misunderstanding between her and the United 
States, and that the establishment of some sort of personal 
relationship might be expected to ease this tension; I, therefore, 
proposed, and the President agreed, that Meyer Gerhardt, a 
member of the Privy Council, who had accompanied Dr. 
Dernburg to America, and was then acting on behalf of the 
German Red Cross, should at once go to Germany, and report in 
person to the Government. Mr. Wilson, for his part, undertook 
that no final decision should be taken until Meyer Gerhardt had 
reported the results of his mission. 

"At the end of this interview, I was convinced in my own 
mind that the President would never enter on war with 
Germany, otherwise I could not conceive why he should have 
concurred in my proposals, instead of breaking off relations at 
once. He would, had he chosen the latter course, have had 
American public opinion more decidedly behind him than it 
was later, at the time of the final breach. Not a voice would 
have been raised in opposition, except that of the Secretary of 
State, Mr. Bryan, who, as it was, resigned his office, on the 
ground that the exchange of Notes threatened to involve the 
United States in war, and 


could not be reconciled, therefore, with his own pacific 

"It is certain that if I had not at this stage of the Lusi-tania 
crisis had my interview with the President, relations would have 
been broken off, and war between the United States and 
Germany must inevitably have followed. The view is still held 
in many quarters that we might safely have disregarded 
American susceptibilities, as President Wilson was entirely 
averse to war, and would have avoided it by whatever means; 
then we should have been free to carry on our submarine 
campaign. This was not the opinion held by myself or any of 
my colleagues at the Embassy, and later events proved us to 
have been in the right, as against those Germans and German- 
Americans, who, in May, 1915, and afterwards, averred that the 
United States would never declare war on us, and maintained 
the same view in January and February, 1917. The principles of 
my later policy were based on the events of this Lusitania crisis; 
I had then gathered the conviction that Mr. Wilson wanted 
peace, but the country wanted war; that the President alone had 
prevented an immediate rupture, but that, as the responsible 
leader of the American people, he would be compelled to bow 
eventually to public opinion. When Mr. Wilson had to explain 
away his unlucky speech at Philadelphia, no action was taken 
from the German side, and no information given him which 
might lead him to understand that Germany desired to avoid a 
casus belli at all costs, for fear of giving Mr. Wilson an 
opportunity to gain a cheap triumph over Germany in a verbal 

"I believe it unjust to Mr. Wilson to suppose that he wished 
to bluff us into surrender at this time. He had, while fully 
realizing the danger of war, sought all ways and means to avoid 
it, and on this hypothesis my whole policy was founded. 
Moreover, the President had then mentioned to me for the first 
time, that he was considering an attempt at mediation between 
the belligerents. 

'After my audience at the White House I sent the following 
wire to the Foreign Office: 



"Washington, June 2nd, 1915. 

"Seriousness of the present situation here induced me to seek 
interview with President Wilson. In most cordial exchange of 
views, in course of which we repeatedly emphasized our mutual 
desire to find some solution of the present difficulties, Wilson 
always came back to point that he was concerned purely with 
humanitarian aspect of matter, and that question of indemnifi- 
cation for loss of American lives in Lusitania was only of sec- 
ondary importance. His main object was complete cessation of 
submarine warfare, and from point of view of this ultimate aim, 
smaller concessions on our part could only be regarded as half 
measures. It behooved us by giving up submarine campaign to 
appeal to moral sense of world; for issue of the war could never 
be finally decided by armies but only by peace of understand- 
ing. Our voluntary cessation of submarine warfare would in- 
spire Wilson to press for raising of English hunger blockade. 
Reliable reports from London state that present Cabinet would 
agree to this. Wilson hopes that this might be first stage in a 
peace movement on large scale, which he would introduce as 
head of leading neutral Powers. 

"American reply may be expected to lay little stress on 
purely legal aspect of matter and to dwell rather on question of 
humanity, emphatically enough, but as Wilson told me, in a 
sharper form. 

"President remarked that on one point at least we should be 
in agreement, as both Germany and United States of America 
had always been in favor of freedom of seas. 

"Cordiality of conversation must not blind our eyes to seri- 
ousness of situation. If our next Note does not tend to tran- 
quilize matters, Wilson is bound to recall his Ambassador. I 
recommend most earnestly that this should be avoided at all 
costs, in view of its disastrous moral effect and fact that this 
result would be immediate increase in export of munitions, and 
in financial support for our enemies on immense scale. Good 
prospect exists of success of present movement for forbidding 
export of arms should understanding be reached; and also 
movement by Wilson in direction of peace is sure to follow. 
Decisive factor in result is that our reply should strike correct 
note from point of view of public opinion, which is decisive 
factor in balance here. For this, essential leave out legal details 
and to lift discussion to level of humanitarian stand- 


point. Meyer Gerhardt leaves tomorrow for Germany as Red 
Cross representative; he will report fully in Berlin on situation. 
Beg that our reply will be held up till his arrival. Wilson con- 
curs in this." 

Meyer Gerhardt was in a position to give for the first time a 
full and accurate review of the American situation to the Berlin 
authorities. I had given him most precise information of my 
own views and had placed him in full possession of the details 
of my interview with Mr. Wilson. For the rest I had to content 
myself with short telegrams by circuitous routes. During our 
conversation, however, the President offered for the first time to 
permit me to dispatch a cipher telegram through the State 
Department, to be sent on by the American Embassy in Berlin." 


From this testimony several things are obvious. Wilson had 
no more idea now of leading the country into war than before. 
He was still trying to prevent war by obtaining that compromise 
from Germany which he believed Bryan had prevented, while 
foremost in his mind was the idea of the league of nations. Even 
Bernstorff now saw that, while further concessions in the matter 
of the submarine blockade might save Bryan, the real price of 
Wilson's friendship for Germany was a commitment to a league 
of nations. In other words, the creation of such a league was his 
one idea of the way to serve humanity, and to this every other 
consideration must give way. 

Page was now heartbroken: 

"Here we are swung loose in time," he wrote to his son, 
"nobody knows the day or the week or the month or the year — 
and we are caught on this island, with no chance of escape, 
while the vast slaughter goes on and seems just beginning; and 
the degradation of war goes on week by week; and we live in 
hope that the United States will come in, as the only chance to 
give us standing and influence when the reorganization of the 
world must begin. (Beware of betraying the word 'hope'!) It has 
all passed far beyond anybody's power to describe. I simply go 
on day by day into unknown experiences and emotions, seeing 


before me very clearly and remembering only dimly what lies 
behind. I can see only one proper thing: that all the world 
should fall to and hunt this wild beast down." " 

Page did not regard Bryan's opinions and attitudes as a joke: 
to him they were a serious matter, and Bryan a national menace. 
He regarded the Secretary as the extreme expression of an 
irrational sentimentalism underlying the American character, 
and manifest in many phases of American life. 

In a moment of exasperation, Page gave expression to his 
feelings in a letter to his son: "We're in danger of being 
feminized and fadridden — grape juice (God knows water's good 
enough: why grape juice?); pensions; Christian Science; peace 
cranks; efficiency-correspondence schools; aid-your-memory; 
women's clubs; co-this and co-t'other, and coddling in general; 
Billy Sunday; petticoats where breeches ought to be, and 
breeches where petticoats ought to be; white livers and soft 
heads and milk-and-water; — I don't want war: nobody knows its 
horrors, or its degradations, or its cost. But to get rid of 
hyphenated degenerates, perhaps it's worth while, and to free us 
from 'isms and soft folk. That's the domestic view of it. As for 
being kicked by a sauerkraut caste — O Lord, give us 



The Secret of Bryan's Resignation. Houston, the Inter- 
nationalist in the Cabinet, Takes the Lead. 

BRYAN'S ENFORCED RESIGNATION was to be cleverly con- 
trived and camouflaged. The country was demanding 
action. He had been given a fair chance to retrieve the 
situation, and had failed. Longer delay on the part of Wilson 
would be ruinous. In the note which Wilson now proposed to 
send to Germany, Bryan must find the pretext for his 
resignation. Under the circumstances, Bryan's real reason could 
easily be concealed. Wilson, of course, would cooperate by 
feigning regret over Bryan's decision. 

How far Houston was informed of the plan can not be said, 
but it is obvious from his own record, that he was now called 
upon by the Internationalists, who had secured his appointment, 
to do his part by cooperating with Wilson. Henceforth he was to 
assume a leading role in the councils and debates of the 

Bryan must have seen his situation with real terror. There 
was not the slightest chance of Germany committing herself to a 
league of nations, and he must resign to silence his enemies and 
save himself, to say nothing of the President and the 
Democratic party. Worse than that, he must give his tacit 
support to the Administration, no matter how unacceptable its 
policies. He must even feign gratitude to the man who could 
ruin him with a word. To attack Wilson at any time, would 
almost certainly result in his exposure, and the charge of 
ingratitude to a man who had acted toward him with apparent 
generosity. Such was the penalty of his wrong doing. 


He was not given long to debate his course. On the 4th, the 
Cabinet met in the President's study in the White House. After a 
confused discussion which tried Wilson's patience, Houston 
repeated his suggestions of the preceding meeting. As the 
Cabinet dispersed, Houston felt sure that Bryan was going to 
"fly the coop," and said so to Lane and McAdoo. 

McAdoo at once reported this to Wilson, who expressed 
keen regrets; McAdoo then hastened to Bryan, whom he found 
writing his resignation. After telling Bryan he did not think it 
fair to Wilson for him to split the party by resigning, McAdoo 
reported Bryan's fixed resolve to Wilson. Thereupon Wilson 
rang up Houston on the telephone, asked him what he thought 
was the settled sentiment of the Cabinet, and said that he had 
been able to get no clear notion of their views at the last 
meeting. Houston told him the general judgment was that his 
note was admirable, and needed only slight modification. It 
would be useless, he thought, to demand flatly that Germany 
give up submarines, but imperative to demand that she regard 
the law of nations and the dictates of humanity; that she must 
not imperil or destroy American ships, or endanger the lives of 
our citizens traveling on ships on which they had a right to 
travel. The emphasis should be put on the safety of American 
citizens. Other neutral nations might be trusted to do their own 
protesting. "I told him, also, that one member was in favor 
simply of making Germany say 'yes' or 'no,' without referring at 
all to the issue of fact which had been raised. He said that that 
would not do at all; that it was too technical a view." 

On Sunday, June 6th, at the President's request, Houston 
returned to the White House with McAdoo. On arrival, Wilson 
told them that Bryan was going to resign, whereupon Houston 
reassured him by saying it was useless to try to figure out the 
psychology of the Germans, and that Bryan's resignation would 
do no harm. 

Wilson asked Houston and McAdoo to think of a man for 
Bryan's place, saying that he had canvassed the field, and could 
not hit upon a satisfactory outside man. House, 


he thought, would be a good man, but his "health probably 
would not permit him to take the place," while his appointment 
would make Texas "loom too large." He remarked that Lansing 
would not do, that he was not a big enough man, did not have 
enough imagination, and would not sufficiently vigorously 
combat or question his views, and that he was lacking in 
initiative. Houston agreed that Lansing was useful where he 
was, but that he would be of no real assistance in the position of 
Secretary of State. 

McAdoo, however, was still worried. On Monday, he insisted 
upon Wilson conferring again with Bryan and himself. Bryan, 
of course, did not change his attitude. Therefore, when the 
Cabinet met the next day, Bryan was absent. The meeting 
began with a discussion of the revised note to Germany. There 
was further discussion of Houston's suggestion that the note 
ought merely to hold Germany to the principle involved, 
without a reference to the issue of fact she had raised. This 
point was soon passed over, and the question raised as to 
whether the note was sufficiently firm. At this point, Wilson 
was interrupted by a message. A few minutes later, another 
messenger came in, and Wilson said: "Gentlemen, Mr. Bryan 
has resigned as Secretary of State, to take effect when the 
German note is sent. He is on the telephone, and wants to know 
whether it would be desirable and agreeable for him to attend 
the Cabinet meeting. Would it be embarrassing? What do you 

There was a general expression to the effect that his 
presence would not embarrass any one, that it would be entirely 
agreeable for him to attend. In a few minutes, Bryan came in. 
All the members stood up. There was no evidence of 
embarrassment in any direction. Wilson greeted him very 
graciously. The discussion was soon resumed. Looking 
"exhausted and appearing to be under a great emotional strain, 
Bryan leaned back in his chair with his eyes closed," while 
Houston spoke in a way calculated to place the responsibility 
for the action which Wilson had all along intended to take, upon 
the Cabinet. 

"We have now come to a show-down. What you now say or 
do may mean war," said Houston. "You are speaking 


for the American nation. You must have its united backing. At 
present, the masses of the people are not dreaming of our 
becoming involved in the war. As a rule, they know very little 
about the issues, and are not thinking much about it, except so 
far as it affects their particular individual fortunes. This is 
particularly true in the South and West. I realized it everywhere 
during my recent trip. It is only in the Northeast, and there 
among relatively small groups, that there is a real understanding 
of the broad issues involved, and of the seriousness of the 
present situation. The nation will follow leadership in the right 
direction on a show-down, but the people are now relatively 
little interested, not at all excited, and would not be a unit. They 
are getting educated, and they need it. Let the people understand 
that the issue is an American issue, that it is now very definitely 
a matter of American rights and American lives. There are and 
have been very broad issues involved since the beginning, but 
they are now as broad as American rights, and involve 
American lives. 

"When you make your demand, let it have specific and 
exclusive reference to the rights and lives of American ship- 
masters and American citizens. Do not discuss belligerent or 
neutral rights and ships, or visit and search, or the dis- 
continuance of the use of the submarine. Simply demand that 
they take no action which will impair the lawful rights of 
American citizens in trade or travel, or which may imperil their 
lives. And interpret the German reply as an acceptance of the 
principle you stand for, and demand a prompt confirmation in 
view of the facts which you recite in response to their request. " 

Marburg himself, had he been present, would not have 
argued differently. Wilson did his part well. With Bryan 
listening in silence, Wilson asked Houston to restate his 
principal points, and made notes as he spoke, as if he were 
getting new ideas. 

As those present were leaving the Cabinet room, Bryan 
asked them to lunch with him at the University Club. Lane, 
Daniels, Burleson, Wilson, Garrison, and Houston accepted. 
For a time the conversation was general. Bryan 


was preoccupied — he seemed to be communing with himself. 
Finally he said: "Gentlemen, this is our last meeting together. I 
have valued our association and friendship. I have had to take 
the course I have chosen. The President has had one view. I 
have had a different one. I do not censure him for thinking and 
acting as he thinks best. I have had to act as I have thought best. 
I can not go along with him in this note. I think it makes for 
war. I believe that I can do more on the outside to prevent war 
than I can on the inside. I think I can help the President more on 
the outside. I can work to control popular opinion so that it will 
not exert pressure for extreme action, which the President does 
not want. We both want the same thing, Peace." 

Each of his guests said some pleasant thing. "You are the 
most real Christian I know," said Lane. Burleson expressed 
agreement. Bryan continued: "I must act according to my 
conscience. I go out into the dark. The President has the 
Prestige and the Power on his side." Then he broke down 
completely and stopped. After a few seconds he added: "I have 
many friends who would die for me. " 

Houston has fully disclosed the fact of his hostility toward 
Bryan. Nevertheless, the Cabinet generally had been 
thoroughly deceived by Wilson's tactics. Describing Bryan's 
resignation, Daniels says: "The first break in Wilson's Cabinet 
came on June 8, 1915, when Mr. Bryan tendered his resignation 
as Secretary of State. It was not attended by any lack of cordial 
relationship, and the separation gave regret to both the 
President and Mr. Bryan. It was a wrench on both sides." 

At nine o'clock, extras announcing Bryan's resignation 
appeared, giving Bryan's letter and Wilson's reply-There was 
great excitement. "Obedient to your sense of duty and actuated 
by the highest motives, you have prepared for transmission to 
the German Government a note in which I can not join, without 
violating what I deem to be an obligation to my country, and 
the issue involved is of such moment that to remain a member 
of the Cabinet, would be as unfair to you as it would be to the 
cause which 


is nearest my heart, namely, the prevention of war." So wrote 

In reply Wilson said in part: "I accept your resignation only 
because you insist" and "with a feeling of personal sorrow." He 
referred to the fact that their judgments had "accorded in 
practically every matter of official duty and public policy until 
now. As to the cause," he said, "even now we are not separated 
in the object we seek, but only in the method by which we seek 
it." For that reason his feeling was "deeper than regret — I 
sincerely deplore it." 

"In all the annals of official correspondence," says Daniels, 
"there could not be found two letters so free from all that is 
formal, or so permeated by genuine admiration, each for the 
other. Very different in temperament, each admired the other 
for recognized sterling qualities. The resignation created a 
national sensation, and was followed by much gossip. Those on 
the inside knew that the letters contained the true sentiments. 
Attempts were made to give an air of mystery where none 
existed. Mr. Bryan hated war — he believed the course of Mr. 
Wilson would bring war. He could not consistently sign or 
approve a note that he believed would eventuate in war with 
Germany. As a conscientious man and official, he felt the only 
honorable course was to retire to private life, when he was not 
in harmony with his chief. He did so with genuine regret. On 
the President's part, he hated war. He had been derided for his 
long-continued attempts to 'keep us out of war.' But he believed 
it better to have war, if war should come, than to fail to assert 
the demands he made upon Germany. He felt that, as he said in 
his war message, 'the right is more precious than peace,' and he 
was so convinced he was right, he could 'do no otherwise.' " 61 

Thus Daniels proved, like Lansing and Lane, that as a 
member of Wilson's Cabinet he really knew little of what the 
President was doing. 

After Bryan's resignation, and before Wilson's rejoinder to 
Germany was published, Bryan told Gregory that he had 
resigned because Wilson had struck out a sentence in the 

note which he, Bryan, had written, and upon which he had 
insisted. This sentence, Bryan claimed, had been reinserted. In 
the face of the evidence given, however, it is not to be doubted 
that, pursuant to a concerted plan, Bryan had been forced out of 
the Cabinet, and that Wilson had but cooperated with him to 
enable him to retire gracefully. 

Having at last rid himself of Bryan, Wilson, on the evening 
of the 8th, rang up Houston at his home. He said he wished to 
read him certain passages of the revised note, to see whether his 
changes met the views Houston had expressed in Cabinet 
meeting. "He read the passages, and I told him that they fully 
embodied my suggestions, of which the principal ones were: (1) 
that he make it clear that we assumed that Germany did not 
raise a question of principle; (2) that he inform Germany that 
she was mistaken as to the Lusitania's being in effect a British 
naval auxiliary; (3) that he point out that a number of her con- 
tentions were irrelevant; (4) that he again emphasize the point 
that we were contending for something higher than rights of 
property or of commerce, namely, the rights of humanity; (5) 
that he renew the representations and warnings of the first note; 
(6) but that, in this note, he limit his statements to the rights of 
American shipmasters and American citizens, and demand 
assurances that they will be respected. " 

The note, embodying the views of the Internationalists, was 
dated June 9th, and on this day a statement from Bryan also 
appeared. The note "made Bryan's statement look silly. . . . The 
press, except the German part of it, was a unit against him. It 
supported the President and the cause of civilization and 
decency." 108 

Page was overjoyed when he learned of Bryan's resignation: 

"Again and ever I am reminded," he wrote, "of the danger 
of having to do with cranks. A certain orderliness of mind and 
conduct seems essential for safety in this short life. Spiritualists, 
bone -rubbers, anti-vivisectionists, all sort of anti's in fact, those 
who have fads about education or fads against it, Perfectionists, 
Daughters of the Dove of 


Peace, Sons of the Roaring Torrent, itinerant peace-mongers — 
all these may have a real genius among them once in forty 
years; but to look for an exception to the common run of yellow 
dogs and damfools among them, is like open-ing oysters with 
the hope of finding pearls. It's the common man we want, and 
the uncommon common man when we can find him — never the 
crank. This is the lesson of Bryan. " 



With Political Aspirations, Wood Organizes The Citizens' 
Military Training Camp to Circumvent the Orders of the 
War Department. The "Super- Ambassador" Returns. The 
League to Enforce Peace Organized in the "City of Brotherly 
Love." Lansing Becomes Secretary of State. The Militarists 
Compelled, by Wilson and the Internationalists to Continue 
the War. A Battle of Ink and Paper. Delayed Action Tides 
Over the "Lusitania" 


BEFORE THE ORDER forbidding the holding of training 
camps by the War Department had been issued, Wood had 
written Bliss, Assistant Chief of Staff: "Don't let any 
quibbling or haggling over little things hold up the camps. They 
are too vitally important to be stopped by trifles. . . . We can 
hold the camps in this department without any additional 
expense. I mean this literally, because they will be held on the 
post reservations, so that neither men nor material will have to 
be moved. I am going ahead on this assumption. " 

In his life of General Wood, Hagedorn misses entirely the 
explanation of Wood's retention as Chief of Staff, and his 
activities prior to his relief. Nor does he intimate that, once 
established in New York among the most influential opponents 
of the Administration, the presidential bee was soon buzzing in 
Wood's bonnet. There is not the least doubt that he had seen the 
political power which he might build up through the medium of 
the training camps-Therefore, when advised that the order must 
be obeyed, Wood and a group of admirers in New York, 
including Robert Bacon, Willard Straight, and others of equal 
prominence in the National Security League, formulated a plan 


to circumvent the War Department. They determined to open a 
training camp at Plattsburg during the summer of 1915. A 
private affair, it was to be modelled after the preceding ones, 
and called the Citizens' Military Training Camp. Roosevelt 
volunteered to help raise the necessary funds, but his help was 
not needed, for Bernard Baruch, one of Wilson's closest friends, 
gave Wood $10,000, and persuaded Daniel Guggenheim and 
others to contribute. The idea took hold, and funds came in a 
flood, $100,000 in all. Rumors of Baruch's interest reached 
Washington, and he was chided as a busybody by those who 
thought he was opposing Wilson's desires. 

Despite this aid, however, recruits came slowly at first, since 
the War Department lent no aid whatever. Finally Wood 
addressed a huge meeting of young men at the Harvard Club, 
and the tide turned. Fully advised of all this, and of Marburg's 
plan to assemble his cohorts on June 17th, the "Silent Partner" 
arrived in New York on the 13th, escorted in "super- 
ambassadorial" state by British warships. 

"Mystery," stated the New York American, "surrounds the 
nature of the important despatches which Colonel House 
brought back to America yesterday." 

Met by Gregory, House was told all that had happened in his 
absence, and at once proceeded to assert his control. Thus, on 
the 16th, or the day before the League to Enforce Peace was to 
meet, he undertook to emphasize the gravity of the crisis which 
the American Government was facing. War, he told Wilson, 
would probably be forced on America by the German 
militarists, as a last resort to save themselves. 

The assembly summoned by Marburg turned out to be a 
great success. Three hundred men of eminence responded to the 
call. A banquet, attended by both ladies and gentlemen, was 
held at the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel on the evening of the 16th, 
to afford opportunity for a full preliminary presentation of the 
purpose of the gathering. The Mayor of Philadelphia presided. 
Addresses were made by Hamilton Holt, George Gray, Oscar S. 
Straus, A. Lawrence Lowell, and William Howard Taft. 


Taft was elected President of the League on the 17th and 
addresses delivered by Marburg, John Bates Clark, and Edward 
A. Filene. The following permanent organization was then 

William Howard Taft, President 

Executive Committee 

A. Lawrence Lowell, Chairman 
Hamilton Holt Theodore Marburg 

Vice Chairmen 

John Bates Clark William Hodges Mann 

Jacob M. Dickinson Alton B. Parker 

Samuel J. Elder Leo S. Rowe 

Philip H. Gadsden William H. Short 

John Hays Hammond John A. Stewart 

Herbert S. Houston Oscar S. Straus 

William B. How land Frank S. Streeter 

Darwin P. Kingsley Thomas Raeburn White 

William Howard Taft, Ex-Officio 

Members of the Committee of Management: Committee on 
Home Organization Alton B. Parker, Chairman 

Committee on Foreign Organization Theodore 
Marburg, Chairman 

Committee on Information Herbert S. 
Houston, Chairman 

Finance Committee 

Darwin P. Kingsley, Chairman Herbert S. 
Houston, Treasurer William H. Short, Secretary 

Having committed many of the foremost scholars and 
publicists of the country to his international project, Mar- 


burg was wise in his generation. The League was not to be 
prejudiced in the popular mind by giving representation 
in its Councils to the great financial interests behind it. The 
internationalistic scheme which had originated with them, was 
now quite capable of progressing without their taking an official 
part. Alton B. Parker, former Democratic candidate for 
President, was obviously made Chairman of the Committee on 
Home Organization, to counteract the possible impression that 
it was a Republican project, while Marburg reserved to himself 
the conduct of foreign relations. 

Thus did Theodore Marburg bring into existence an 
influence which no President could ignore, the like of which 
had not been known before in the political life of the world, 
much less of the American people. Most of those whose aid he 
had enlisted, recognizing the necessity of supplying the country 
with a leadership it did not have, were actuated by the most 
patriotic motives. Never before, however, had a non-partisan 
political organization been created to dictate the foreign policy 
of a President. It was while lecturing in Richmond, that Taft 
made a significant answer to a lament as to Wilson's lack of 
leadership. "Never mind," he said, "we'll smoke him out yet!" 

On account of Bryan's suspicions, Marburg had, in the past, 
found it almost impossible to advise Wilson directly. Nor was it 
politically wise for either him or Taft to do so in House's 
absence. Bryan, however, was now gone, so that, to avoid the 
circumlocution of always having to deal with Wilson through 
House, it was decided that the Executive Committee should 
deal with Wilson. Taft was to take the field on a great lecture 
tour to explain the object of the League. 

House was to continue in his old capacity as intermediary. 
Hereafter, when Wilson called on House for advice, he was 
plainly seeking the views of the Executive Committee of the 
League. It was all very cleverly arranged. With 
Taft, a former Republican opponent of Wilson as President of 
the League, no one seems to have suspected the direct 


influence Marburg, the Great Mogul of the Internationalists, 
exercised over Wilson. 

With his highly organized publicity, Marburg had insured 
the widest attention to the proposals of the League; and through 
the financial interests whom he was representing, the 
newspapers would very generally approve them. 

Having remained in the background until after the meeting, 
House arrived in Washington on June 20th, and, the following 
day, conferred with the British and German Ambassadors. 
Since the former was an obstacle in the way of a league of 
nations, efforts were at once instituted by House to get rid of 

The next problem of the Internationalists was to secure the 
appointment of a Secretary of State friendly to Britain, and, at 
the same time, to a league of nations. It was not an easy thing to 
do. Of the two, the former was by far the most important, since 
there was no chance of the British Government cooperating 
with Wilson unless American friendship was assured. Nor was 
it well to leave Page longer in London, by reason of his known 
hostility to a league of nations. 

But Page could not be summarily forced out like Bryan. He 
knew too much. Relieved of all obligation to the Ad- 
ministration, he would surely speak out with direful con- 
sequences. On the other hand, should he be appointed Secretary 
of State, room would be made for an American Ambassador in 
sympathy with the President's Internationalism; Page would 
take it as a promotion; the British Government which looked 
upon him as their staunchest American friend would be pleased; 
amity between the two governments would be assured; and so 
long as Page remained in the Cabinet, he would be precluded 
from any open opposition to the President. 

It was the third time Page had been recommended by House 
for a Cabinet position, but the "Silent Partner" had again 
reckoned without his host. The President had no idea of turning 
over the State Department at this juncture, to one whom he 
could not control. His mind had long since been poisoned 
against Page, whose independence had 


become more and more irksome to him. He had had enough of 
opposition. Bryan, Garrison, Page, Moore, Wood, Scott, and 
McCombs, had exhausted his patience. Even Lane and Houston 
had not been too obedient to his will. Moreover, it would be bad 
politics to appoint a Secretary of State so notoriously hostile to 
Bryan, and so pro-British in his sympathies as Page. It could not 
fail to be taken by Bryan as a direct affront to him and his 
following. House's recommendation was overruled, on the 
ground that Page's selection would be taken as an unneutral act. 

But again Wilson was to have a Secretary of State thrust 
upon him by the Internationalists, who were determined to force 
the appointment of a man friendly to Great Britain. The 
objections to Lansing which Wilson and Houston had advanced, 
were not important. Since he was strongly pro-British, the fact 
he was not too insistent upon his views, made him all the more 
acceptable to Marburg and House. Moreover, the promotion of 
Bryan's own aide would not appear as a reflection on Bryan. 
Therefore, on June 23, 1915, he was appointed by Wilson with 
the express purpose of utilizing him merely as a highly trained 
diplomatic scribe, "a rubber stamp," as House put it. Next, 
House recommended John W. Davis, Solicitor General of the 
United States, to succeed Lansing as Counselor of the State 
Department, but to this, too, Wilson objected. It was not until a 
month later that Franklin K. Polk was appointed. 

The energy of Marburg was seemingly without limit. Soon 
after the first gathering of the League to Enforce Peace, 
numerous peace societies, and the National Economic League 
of which Marburg was a prominent member, endorsed its 
program, while the Chamber of Commerce of the United States, 
representing 350,000 business men, firms, and corporations in 
every state in the union, held a referendum upon it. Strongly 
under the influence of the great financiers, more than 96 per 
cent of the vote approved the proposition that the United States 
should take the in-itiative in forming a league of nations bound 
to submit justiciable questions arising between any of its 
members to an international court, and non-justiciable questions 


a council of conciliation for decision or recommendation before 
resorting to war. 

But how far were the Internationalists promoting peace? 
The German militarists saw what they were planning to do. 
"The Foreign Office, I am sure," said Gerard, "wants to make 
some decent settlement," but von Tirpitz and his followers 
exerted themselves to the utmost, so that the Chancellor found 
himself powerless to consider seriously any kind of a peace. 
The German reply of July 8th to Wilson's second Lusitania 
note, failed to meet Wilson's demands. 

Beginning with a formal approval of the rights of humanity, 
which seemed to many Americans an ill-chosen stroke of irony, 
the body of the note consisted of complaints about British 
restrictions of trade and anti-submarine methods. It maintained 
the principle that neutral citizens traveling in the "barred zone" 
on the high seas, did so at their own risk; concluding with the 
suggestion, which Gerard had prophesied, that Americans 
might cross the seas upon neutral vessels which, if they raised 
the American flag, would be assured special protection, or upon 
"four enemy passenger-steamers for passenger traffic," for the 
"free and safe passage" of which, the German Government 
would give guaranties. To Wilson's demand for a promise that 
acts like the sinking of the Lusitania should not be repeated, 
there was no reply. Germany suggested, in effect, that the 
United States keep out of trouble by yielding its sovereign 

The patience of the country had been almost exhausted by 
the battle of ink fervently waged by Lansing. Germany had, 
plainly, but one purpose. Something had to be done to satisfy 
the popular clamor for action. The Internationalists were 
becoming more and more alarmed over Wilson's stubborn 
refusal to advocate preparedness. Seeing the increasing danger 
of the situation, House was already preparing an alibi to escape 
responsibility. "The truth of the matter is," he wrote on July 
10th, "the President has never realized the gravity of our 
unprepared position... If war comes with Germany, it will be 
because we are not 


prepared, and because Germany knows it." So too, although he 
had twice endeavored to negotiate an Anglo-German 
compromise, he was now quick to point out to Wilson the 
fallacy of the German argument that the submarine campaign 
was a justifiable retaliation for the British food embargo. 

Wilson agreed with the League's suggestion that he stand 
firm against a compromise with Germany. Yet he insisted that 
House should see Bernstorff, impress upon him that some "way 
out" must be found, and demand that the Germans abstain from 
submarine attacks without warning, unless they deliberately 
wished to provoke war. At the same time, to satisfy the country, 
the Administration Press announced that the President had 
called upon Garrison and Daniels to advise him what was 
needed in the way of national defense. On July 21st, the 
proposals of Germany were formally rejected by Lansing in 
another note which said: "The lives of noncombatants may in 
no case be put in jeopardy, unless the vessel resists or seeks to 
escape, after being summoned to submit to examination." This 
note also disposed of the claim that the acts of England gave 
Germany the right to retaliate, to the extent of depriving 
American citizens of their lives, by stating: "For a belligerent 
act of retaliation is per se an act beyond the law, and the 
defense of an act as retaliatory, is an admission that it is illegal." 
It continued: "If a belligerent can not retaliate against an enemy 
without injuring the lives of neutrals, as well as their property, 
humanity, as well as justice and a due regard for the dignity of 
neutral powers, should dictate that the practice be 

It further stated: "The United States can not believe that the 
Imperial Government will longer refrain from disavowing the 
wanton act of its naval commander in sinking the Lusitania, or 
from offering reparation for the American lives lost, so far as 
reparation can be made for the needless destruction of human 
life by an illegal act." The meat of the Note was the following 
sentence: "Friendship itself prompts it (the United States) to say 
to the Imperial Government that repetition by the commanders 
of German 


naval vessels of acts in contravention of those rights, must be 
regarded by the Government of the United States, when they 
affect American citizens, as being deliberately unfriendly." 

When House approached Bernstorff, the German Gov- 
ernment felt that Wilson was still anxious to prevent a rupture, 
and gave him no satisfaction. Bernstorff actually complained to 
House of the "sharpness" of Wilson's words which, he declared, 
were doing more harm than good. 

Wilson himself began at last to wonder if BernstorfE were 
to be trusted. On July 29th he wrote that he believed the 
German Ambassador was not dealing frankly with him, but 
suggested that House try to make Bernstorff impress upon 
Berlin, the danger of the German course. Bernstorff again 
complained that the President unfairly concentrated his protests 
on Germany, while shutting his eyes to British infractions of 
international law. Gerard pointed out that nothing but further 
acts of war need be expected. 

"We hope to continue to support the President," wrote 
Harvey in the August number of his Review; "but what we 
wish to make certain of is that he recognize the need of a 
change of method. Words having borne no fruit in the case of 
the Germans, recourse must be had to acts. It is not what the 
President is going to say, but what he is going to do, that 
concerns us as a Nation desirous of peace, but neither too weak 
nor too proud to fight if driven to the hateful necessity." 

Wilson had succeeded in preserving American neutrality by 
resort to Bryan's principle of delayed action. The country had 
wearied of the debate over the Lusitania. Stubbornly 
determined to play one side against the other, Wilson had no 
idea of allowing his hand to be forced. The Internationalists 
could await, meanwhile, without alarm the next German note, 
since they had tided over the Lusitania crisis and rid themselves 
of the importunate Bryan. 



The Plattsburg Camp a Great Success. Bryan again Proposes 
to Visit Europe. Grey Finally Rejects the "Freedom of the 
Seas." The German Conspirators Intimidate Wilson. Villa 
and The "Arabic" Incident. Page and Gerard Give Warnings 
Again. The Internationalists Demand a Change of Policy. 
Roosevelt at Plattsburg. Wood Reprimanded Again. An 
Apparent Victory for Wilson. Von Tirpitz Forces the Issue 
Between the Kaiser and The Socialists. Harvey Assails 


IN BERLIN, there were wide differences of opinion as to how 
Germany should answer Wilson. "Once again," Ballin wrote 
the Chancellor on August 1st, "in connection with the further 
treatment of this American question, I find myself in complete 
opposition to the views of the Wilhelmstrasse. The last note 
should have been answered immediately, that is to say within 
twenty-four hours; and it was so easy to answer. One need only 
have said: 'The Imperial Government expresses its lively sense 
of regret on learning from the note which your Excellency has 
had the goodness, on the instructions of your Government, to 
hand to me, that the Government of the United States of North 
America is not prepared to recognize the exceedingly 
accommodating spirit displayed by the German Government in 
its last note of reply. Under these circumstances the Imperial 
German Government can but express the wish that citizens of 
the United States will be suitably warned by their Government 
against embarking upon ships of enemy flags, which propose to 
pass through the war zone declared by the German 

"As I have mentioned, a short answer of this sort should 


in my view have been given to Mr. Gerard within twenty-four 
hours. Another fortnight's brooding gives the Americans the 
impression that our responsible persons are at a loss what to do. 
One knows that Washington conducts its policies in its shirt 
sleeves, and American questions of this sort should be handled 
in a manner adjusted to American psychology." 

On August 5th, 1915, Secretary Helfferich wrote to the 
Chancellor, urging that the submarine campaign should be still 
further restricted for a few weeks, or even for three months. "He 
believed," says von Tirpitz, "that the American Government 
had extended a definite invitation to us to cooperate with them 
in securing the freedom of the seas, and he accordingly hoped 
that if we yielded to their note, we should be able to establish a 
common Americo-German front against England. The cotton 
planters would exercise so strong a pressure on Wilson that the 
German textile industry could be preserved from shutting down 
and starving. If we were to offer Wilson this 'good chance' to 
stand up for his ideals, he could not help taking it." Germany 
ought, thought Helfferich, to dispose of her enemies separately, 
like the last of the Horatii who defeated the three Curiatii 
attacking him, by a clever retreat which separated them; the 
German Government could no more be accused of weakness in 
adopting such conduct, than the ancient Roman. Helfferich thus 
took for granted that loss of prestige counted for nothing, and 
that the World Powers of today would be as foolish as the three 
Curiatii. 222 

All the Germans, however, looked with alarm upon the 
rising demand in America for military legislation. Due to 
Wood's ceaseless efforts, twelve hundred men arrived at 
Plattsburg on August 1st, representing every class and oc- 
cupation of the country. No such gathering had ever been seen 
before. On August 8th, Wood rendered an enthusiastic report to 
Wilson through House, who repeated Wood's recommendation 
that the Swiss system, modified to meet American needs, be 
adopted, and again recommended that Wood be allowed to visit 
Europe to study modern conditions of warfare. Wilson, 
however, now began to look with 


alarm upon the tremendous political machine which Wood was 
obviously building up, while Bernstorff, Boy-Ed, and von 
Papen at once set out to counteract Wood's efforts by playing 
on Wilson's fears. "Hyphenism," was made to appear a real 
danger. In Berlin, Gerard was told by an irate diplomat that 
Germany had over 500,000 reservists in America under 
assumed Scandinavian citizenship, who would rise and bring 
about a revolution, unless America stopped shipping munitions 
to the Entente! Wilson was seriously alarmed by what he 
declared to be "the very real danger of the alien population of 

Cooperation between the German conspirators and Villa 
was now complete. The Chief of Staff was summoned to 
Lansing's office, and told that Villa had announced a levy on 
American mining property, to be paid August 9th. 

"The Secretary asked," says Scott, "if I would not help him. 
'I will help you very soon, Mr. Secretary, if you want to invade 
Mexico.' He said, 'You know we can't do that.' I asked him how 
he expected me to help him then; Villa was a wild man who 
needed funds for his operations, and was going to take them, as 
all the other belligerents were doing. All I could do was to go 
down there and ask him please not to do it, which Mr. Lansing 
could do himself. . . . 

"The Secretary said, 'those mining men are on my back. I 
can not get them off, and I don't know what to do. What are 
your relations with Villa, anyway?' 

"I told him what Villa had said at our last meeting: that there 
could be no cause of friction on the border if he and I could get 
together, and that he would come up from Mexico City any time 
I sent for him. 'Won't you please go then?' the Secretary asked, 
in such a pitiful way that I had to say 'yes,' but now I wish I had 
not done so.' " 

Hastening to the border, Scott sent for Villa and talked to 
him in the only way he understood, so that, after a conference 
with the mine owners, Villa accepted a thousand tons of coal 
from them in satisfaction of his demands. 

Bryan, too, was, by this time, disturbed by the headway 
preparedness" had made, and again planned to visit Eu- 


rope, to bring the war to an end before Wood and Roosevelt 
swept the country into it. "The freedom of the seas" was now 
his pet hobby, but Grey had long since canvassed the British 
Government, and found it useless to press the proposal further. 

"My own mind," Grey wrote House on August 10, 1915, 
"revolves more and more about the point that the refusal of a 
Conference was the fatal step that decided peace or war last 
year, and about the moral to be drawn from it; which is that the 
pearl of great price, if it can be found, would be some League of 
Nations that could be relied on to insist that disputes between 
any two nations must be settled by the arbitration, mediation, or 
conference of others. International Law has hitherto had no 
sanction. The lesson of this war is that the Powers must bind 
themselves to give it a sanction. If that can be secured, freedom 
of the seas, and many other things, will become easy. But it is 
not a fair proposition that there should be a guaranty of the free- 
dom of the seas, while Germany claims to recognize no law but 
her own on land, and to have the right to make war at will ..." 

On the 12th, House notified Page that Bryan intended to 
visit Europe, and to oppose Wilson on "preparedness." Wilson 
would have to give him some credentials. "It might be a good 
thing to encourage his going since he would probably come 
back a sadder and wiser man." In Germany he was in high 
favor. It was assumed by Wilson that no one in authority in 
England would discuss his proposals seriously, while he was 
not likely to even "get a hearing" in France. What did Page 

Page's reply was characteristic. "Never mind about Bryan. 
Send him over if you wish to get rid of him. He'll cut no more 
figure than a tar baby at a Negro camp meeting. If he had come 
while he was Secretary, I should have jumped off London 
Bridge . . . but I shall enjoy him now. . . . No, there's never yet 
come a moment when there was the slightest chance of peace. . 
. . The Germans are a century behind the English in political 
development and political morality. ... So let William J. come. 
He can't 


hurt Europe — nor help it; and you can spare him. Let all the 
Peace-gang come. You can spare them, too; and they can do no 
harm here. Let somebody induce Hoke Smith to come, too. You 
have hit on a great scheme — friendly deportation. 

"And Bryan won't be alone. Daughters of the Dove of Peace 
and Sons of the Olive Branch come every week. The latest Son 
came to see me today. He said that the German Chancellor told 
him that he wanted peace — wants it now and wants it bad, and 
that only one thing stood in the way if England would agree not 
to take Belgium, Germany would at once make peace! This 
otherwise sensible American wanted me to take him to see Sir 
Edward to tell him this, and to suggest to him to go over to 
Holland next week to meet the German Chancellor and fix it up. 
A few days ago a pious preacher chap (American) who had 
come over to 'fix it all up,' came back from France and called on 
me. He had seen something in France — he was excited, and he 
didn't quite make it clear what he had seen; but he said that if 
they'd only let him go home safely and quickly, he'd promise 
not to mention peace any more — did I think the American boats 
entirely safe? — so, you see, I do have some fun even in these 
dark days." 

Poor Page ! Without the slightest idea of what was really in 
Wilson's mind, and believing that he was trying to bring about 
peace at this time, Page was inclined to ridicule him. 

The Wiihelmstrasse now gave a very practical answer to 
Wilson's note of July 21st by sinking the British steamship 
Arabic, with the loss of more American lives. The news reached 
America August 19th. Two days later, Wilson cabled House for 
advice. What should he do? House's letters, he said, came to 
him like the visits of a friend. 

"If I were in his place," wrote House, "I would send 
Bernstorff home, and recall Gerard. I would let the matter rest 
there for the moment, with the intimation that the next offense 
would bring us actively in on the side of the Allies. In the 
meantime, I would begin preparations for defense and for war, 
just as vigorously as if war had been 


declared. I would put the entire matter of defense and the 
manufacture of munitions in the hands of a non-partisan 
commission composed mostly of business men — men like John 
Hays Hammond, Guy Tripp, and others of that sort. I would 
issue an address to the American people, and I would 
measurably exonerate the Germans as a whole, but I would 
blister the militant party in Germany who are responsible for 
this world-wide tragedy. I would ask the German- Americans to 
help in redeeming their fatherland from such blood-thirsty 

Wilson was still afraid of both Bryan and the pro-Germans. 
"I am surprised," wrote House the following day, "at the 
attitude he takes. He evidently will go to great lengths to avoid 
war. He should have determined his policy when he wrote his 
notes of February, May, June, and July. No citizen of the United 
States realizes better than I the horrors of this war, and no one 
would go further to avoid it; but there is a limit to all things and, 
in the long run, I feel the nation would suffer more in being 
supine than in taking a decided stand. If we were fully prepared, 
I am sure Germany would not continue to provoke us." 

Page and Gerard both reported to House that the sinking of 
the Arabic was no accident. Therefore, on August 22, 1915, 
House wrote Wilson, with his usual tact, that "his heart was 
heavy over the Arabic disaster," that his "thoughts and 
sympathy" had been constantly with him. Then he suavely 
undertook to lead him to the action desired by the 

"I have hoped against hope that no such madness would 
seize Germany. If war comes, it is clearly of their making, and 
not yours. You have been calm, patient, and just. From the 
beginning, they have taken an impossible attitude which has led 
them to the brink of war with all nations. 

"Our people do not want war, but even less do they want to 
recede from the position you have taken. Neither do they want 
to shirk the responsibility which should be ours. Your first note 
to Germany after the sinking of the Lusitania made you not only 
the first citizen of America, but the first citizen of the world. If 
by any word or act 


you should hurt our pride of nationality, you would lose your 
commanding position overnight. 

"Further notes would disappoint our own people, and would 
cause something of derision abroad. . . . 

"To send Bernstorff home, and to recall Gerard, would be 
the first act of war, for we would be without means of 
communication with one another, and it would not be long 
before some act was committed that would force the 

"If you do not send Bernstorff home, and if you do not 
recall Gerard, then Congress should be called to meet the 
emergency, and assume the responsibility. This would be a 
dangerous move, because there is no telling what Congress 
would do in the circumstances. . . . 

"For the first time in the history of the world, a great nation 
has run amuck, and it is certain that it is not a part of our duty 
to put forth a restraining hand. Unless Germany disavows the 
act, and promises not to repeat it, some decisive action upon 
our part is inevitable; otherwise we will have no influence when 
peace is made or afterwards. ..." 

By the tremendous pressure now exerted upon Wilson 
through House, Straus, and others, Wilson was almost 

"I fear I can not prevent a rupture this time if our answer in 
the Arabic matter is not conciliatory," Bernstorff cabled the 
Wilhelmstrasse. "I advise instructions to me to negotiate the 
whole question. Situation may thus perhaps be saved." 

At the same time, without waiting for instructions, 
Bernstorff explained both officially, and also through the Press, 
that the United States would be given full compensation, if the 
commander of the Arabic should be found to have been 
treacherously dealt with. "It was my first preoccupation," he 
wrote, "to calm the public excitement before it overflowed all 
bounds; and I succeeded in so calming it. The action I thus took 
on my own responsibility turned out later to have been well 

On the 24th of August, in accordance with instructions 


from Berlin, Bernstorff wrote Lansing the following letter, 
which was immediately published by the Administration: 

"I have received instructions from my Government to ad- 
dress to you the following observations: Up to the present no 
reliable information has been received as to the circumstances 
of the torpedoing of the Arabic. The Imperial Government, 
therefore, trusts that the Government of the United States will 
refrain from taking any decided steps, so long as it has before it 
one-sided reports, which my Government believe do not in any 
way correspond to the facts. The Imperial Government hopes 
that it may be allowed an opportunity of being heard. It has no 
desire to call in question the good faith of those eye-witnesses 
whose stories have been published by the European Press, but it 
considers that account should be taken of the state of emotion, 
under the influence of which this evidence was given, and 
which might well give rise to false impressions. If American 
subjects have really lost their lives by the torpedoing of this 
ship, it was entirely contrary to the intentions of my Govern- 
ment, which has authorized me to express to the Government of 
the United States their deepest regrets, and their most heartfelt 

The following day Wilson again undertook to discover from 
House what the Internationalists had in mind. What was his 
opinion of Bernstorffs request for a suspension of judgment? 
He feared the Germans were merely sparring for time, in order 
that any action the United States might take, would not affect 
the unstable equilibrium in the Balkans. Did House regard the 
suspicion as too far-fetched? And how long should he wait? The 
Wilhelmstrasse had been asked for the German version of the 
Orduna sinking, but it had simply pigeonholed the demand, and 
nothing had yet been heard from them. He also feared a possible 
outbreak of German-Americans in the United States, m case of 
a break with Germany. Where and how should the Government 
prepare? In what direction should a concentration of force be 
directed, or precautionary vigilance be exercised? 

Like the German Conspirators, the Internationalists also 
undertook to play on Wilson's fears. To Wilson, 


House replied: "I am always suspicious of German diplomacy. 
What they say is not dependable, and one has to arrive at their 
intentions by inverse methods. I do not think your suspicions 
are far-fetched, and it is quite possible they are playing for time. 
I have a feeling, however, that they may weaken and come to 
your way. 

"As to being prepared for a possible outbreak, I have this in 
mind: Attempts will likely be made to blow up waterworks, 
electric light and gas plants, subways and bridges in cities like 
New York. This could be prevented by some caution being used 
by local authorities, under the direction of the Government. 

"For instance, Police Commissioner Woods tells me he has 
definitely located a building in New York, in which two 
shipments of arms have been stored by Germans. They were 
shipped from Philadelphia. He is trying to trace the point of 
shipment and other details. No one knows of this excepting 
myself. . . . 

"I am told there are only two hundred men at Governor's 
Island. I think there should be at least a regiment. What trouble 
we have will be in large cities, and it is there where precautions 
should be taken. I do not look for any organized rebellion or 
outbreak, but merely some degree of frightfulness in order to 
intimidate the country. ..." 

In the face of such diverse manoeuvers, the country was 
hopelessly confused, when Roosevelt took the field to speak at 
Plattsburg late in August. He was preceded by a comically 
cryptic telegram: "I suggest that my speech be made when the 
men are not on duty in camp, in either the late afternoon or 
evening. I prefer that it be made out of camp, and I deem this 
advisable on more than one account. If possible, the men should 
be in citizen's clothing. Will explain in full tomorrow morning." 

Scenting brimstone, Wood's friends begged him to edit 
Roosevelt's speech. Wood read it and lifted his brows 
quizzically: "Theodore, as a former President, you have 
presidential prerogatives on a military reservation. You miay 
say what you want. But I suspect that some of the 


things you are planning to say are likely to stir up a lot of 

"All right. What are they? I'll cut them out. " 

Wood indicated the dangerous portions, and Roosevelt 
eliminated them. 

Late that afternoon, standing with his back to the quiet 
waters of Lake Champlain and the Green Mountains beyond, 
facing the 1,200 volunteers, 600 regulars and 3,000 or 4,000 
men and women who had flocked in from the countryside, 
Roosevelt spoke. He paid his respects to the pacifists, spoke of 
"hyphenated Americans," the need for undivided loyalty, the 
obligation to uphold the national self-respect; pointed out how 
little the Nation had done, or was doing, to prepare to defend its 
rights. Not all that he said was in impeccable taste; a politician 
might have called it indiscreet. But good taste and discretion 
were not the virtues which the men at Plattsburg most highly 
regarded, and Roosevelt was ready at any time to remind his 
countrymen that a national crisis was not a pink tea. 

The twilight turned to darkness. A single lantern on a 
photographer's tripod fitfully illuminated the speaker. A terrier, 
wandering into the firelight, drew from him a thrust which his 
hearers could not fail to translate. The little dog was looking for 
his master and, bewildered by the crowd, ran this way and that, 
finally bumping against the speaker and rolling over on his 
back, his legs in the air: "That's a very nice dog," said 
Roosevelt, "and I like him. His present attitude is strictly one of 
neutrality." That night on the train, he stated in a press 
interview what he had omitted from his speech. He did not 
propose to stand by the President any longer, unless Wilson 
stood by the country. "It is defensible to state that we stand by 
the country, right or wrong. It is not defensible for any free man 
in a free republic to state that he will stand by any official, right 
or wrong. . . . The right of any President is only to demand 
public support because he does well, because he serves the 
public well, and not merely because he is President. ..." 

All this, which he could not, out of respect to the Com- 


mander-in-Chief of the military forces, say in a speech on a 
military reservation, he had obviously a perfect right to say off 
the reservation. The newspapers next morning failed to make a 
distinction between the speech and the interview. The advance 
copies of his speech, which they had received as usual from 
Roosevelt's secretary, could not contain explanations that some 
passages might be eliminated at the request of Wood. The 
speech, as it was printed, was calculated to annoy even the 

The friends of the Administration were indignant, not 
against Roosevelt, whose attitude toward Wilson was known, 
but against Wood. In inviting Roosevelt to speak at Plattsburg, 
he was, they asserted, an accessory to the act of criticizing the 
President, and therefore accountable under the muzzling order 
of the Secretary of War. The incident seemed to confirm initial 
suspicions as to the purpose of the Plattsburg camp. Most of the 
men who had gone there were, it was pointed out, prominent 
Republican politicians, who would, when the time came, be 
ready to advance Wood's political fortunes. 

Wood had actually invited to Plattsburg not only Roosevelt, 
but Wilson and Garrison, former President Taft, the labor 
leaders — Samuel Gompers and John Mitchell — a number of 
former Secretaries of War, and a dozen university presidents. 
He had, moreover, sent the list to Garrison three weeks in 
advance of Roosevelt's visit, and Garrison had offered no 
objection. But Garrison was compelled to act. 

"I have just seen the reports in the newspapers of the speech 
made by former President Roosevelt at the Plattsburg camp," 
he wrote Wood. "It is difficult to conceive of anything which 
would have a more detrimental effect upon the real value of the 
experiment than such an incident. This camp held under 
Government auspices, was successfully demonstrating many 
things of great moment. Its virtue consisted in the fact that it 
conveyed its own impressive lesson in its practical and 
successful operation and results. 

"No opportunity should have been furnished to any one 


to present to the men any matter excepting that which was 
essential to the necessary training which they were to receive. 
Anything else could only have the effect of distracting attention 
to issues which excite controversy, antagonism, and ill-feeling, 
and thereby impairing, if not destroying, what otherwise would 
have been so effective. 

"There must not be any opportunity given at Plattsburg or 
any other similar camp for any such unfortunate consequences." 

When Scott, called to the White House to discuss Mexican 
affairs, took occasion to tell the President that he was certain 
that Wood had no intention of transgressing the proprieties, and 
expressed the hope that Wilson would cherish no grudge 
against Wood, Wilson showed his resentment. "I don't want 
any one to rock the boat," he said. 

Knowing that Garrison had reprimanded him merely as a 
political necessity, Wood was not disturbed in the least, but 
Roosevelt jumped to his defense. In an interview in the New 
York Tribune, August 27, 1915, he said: 

"I am, of course, solely responsible for the whole speech. 
When, after three weeks notice, the War Department made no 
objection to my visit to the camp, they were disqualified from 
criticizing General Wood because I went, and because he did 
not submit my speech to the administration for approval. 

"If the administration had displayed one-tenth of the spirit 
and energy in holding Germany and Mexico to account for the 
murder of American men, women and children that it is now 
displaying in the endeavor to prevent our people from being 
taught the need of preparation to prevent the repetition of such 
murders in the future, it would be rendering a service to the 
people of this country." 

Garrison made a flippant reply, obviously intended to close 
the incident. But Roosevelt refused to let it be closed. He 
answered with hot shot. "Truly, it was an illuminating 
commentary by the Administration on itself," he declared, "that 
it should regard a plea for preparedness as an assault on the 
Administration, and should object to the officers and 


men of the United States Army listening to a plea for undivided 

Seeing a political issue arising, Wilson left the field to 
Roosevelt, and hastily set at rest the rumors that Wood might be 
relieved as commander of the Department of the East, or even 
court-martialed. In the present situation, his further aid was of 
vital importance, despite his political ambitions. 

Ever since the sinking of the Arabic, Bernstorff had been 
working feverishly to secure from Berlin some concession 
sufficient to tide over the crisis. The Wilhelmstrasse hesitated, 
fearing the navy officials and public opinion, and therefore not 
daring to settle the matter by a frank disavowal, but finally 
conceding enough to prevent a break. On August 29th, 
Bernstorff wrote to House, intimating that Germany was ready 
to yield to Wilson's demand by promising that the submarine 
warfare on passenger liners would cease. House sent the letter 
to Wilson, who answered that he trusted neither the accuracy 
nor the sincerity of Bern-stroff, but that he would consider any 
offer of conciliation. Warned that he must be explicit, the 
German Ambassador on September 1st, wrote formally to 

"Washington, September 1, 1915. 
"My dear Mr. Secretary: — 

"With reference to our conversation of this morning, I beg to 
inform you that my instructions concerning our answer to your 
last Lusitania note contain the following passage: 

" 'Liners will not be sunk by our submarines without warn- 
ing, and without safety of the lives of non-combatants, provided 
that the liners do not try to escape or offer resistance. . . .' 

"I remain, my dear Mr. Lansing, very sincerely yours, 

"J. Bernstorff." 

Von Tirpitz was furious at what had been going on in the 
Wilhelmstrasse. The propaganda of the Internationalists among 
the Socialists, had caused them to overwhelm the Kaiser, who 
had, in turn, compelled the Chancellor to yield. On August 
27th, von Tirpitz had requested to be relieved from duty as 
Secretary of State for Naval Affairs. 


Refusing to grant his request, he was on the 30th, rebuked by 
the Kaiser for making it. 

Wilson's victory over the Germans was only apparent. No 
formal disavowal had been made of the sinking of the Lusitania 
or the Arabic. Furthermore, the German promise was implied 
rather than expressed. Orders had been given to the submarine 
commanders to abide by Wilson's demands, but the 
Wilhelmstrasse had reserved the right to change these orders 
whenever it desired. 

Three days after Bernstorff s pledge, a submarine sank the 
Allan liner Hesperian. Then came a letter from Gerard, 
indicating that, whatever promises the German Government 
might make, the Navy would act as it pleased. The Kaiser was 
particularly bitter over the agitation among the Socialists, due to 
Wilson's propaganda. 

Meantime, Jane Addams, Dr. Jacobs, Emily Balch, Frau 
Salenka, Rosika von Schwimmer, and other "Lysistratans" had 
arrived in America as emissaries of the Women's Peace 
Conference, with the purpose of trying to persuade the President 
to head a great movement for peace among the neutral states. 
Unable to see Wilson, they got little encouragement from 
Lansing, whom they declared to be strongly pro-ally. Lansing 
had felt from the first that the Women's Peace Conference was 
inspired by the Germans, while Wilson saw in it nothing but 
interference with his own plans. 

Harvey's patience was now at an end. After referring to 
what he described as the tragedy of Mexico, he quoted, in an 
article in early September, the assertion of a British Editor that 
the Kaiser's indifference to American rights was directly 
attributable to Wilson's pacifist policy — a view which was now 
widely held and expressed in America. It was, in his opinion, a 
"bitter truth that the Administration has come to be regarded as 
anemic rather than American!" People began to talk everywhere 
of Roosevelt as the next President. Even Root saw that the 
country must be armed, and that Roosevelt was the best 
candidate with whom to defeat Wilson, even if Roosevelt could 
not be committed to a league of nations. He was, at least, an ar- 


dent champion of arbitration, as shown by his previous 
achievements. Once the country had been saved, a league of 
nations and a world court might follow. But while Marburg and 
Nicholas Murray Butler, as heads of the American Peace 
Society, agreed that Wilson must be supplanted, they had no 
idea of accepting either Roosevelt or Wood. The next President, 
they insisted, must be an out-and-out Internationalist as well as 
an advocate of national defense; so that a split divided the 
Republican Internationalists, with Carnegie and Root on one 
side, and Taft, Butler, and Marburg on the other, promising to 
yield bitter fruit to the Republican party. 



The Austrian Ambassador Dismissed. The Destruction of the 
"Arabic" Disavowed by Germany. Wilson Hoping for the 
Collapse of The Central Alliance. His Engagement 
Announced. The Execution of Edith Cavell. Wilson Appeals 
to The Daughters of The American Revolution to Support 
Him and Solicits Their Sympathy. 

DURING THE EXCITEMENT over the Arabic, the Austrian 
Ambassador had been so indiscreet as to entrust to an 
American correspondent, James F. J. Archibald, important 
despatches intended for his Government. Archibald was 
arrested by the British, whose agents had been watching 
Bernstorff and Dumba, and the despatches were published. 
They proved the intent of the Austrian Embassy to assist in the 
crippling of munitions plants, and the cooperation of the 
German military attache, von Papen, in an effort to prevent 
American exportations to the Allies. A letter from von Papen to 
his wife was also published, in which he had written: "I always 
say to those idiotic Yankees that they had better hold their 
tongues." Its publication did not serve to allay the warmth of 
American feeling. On September 8th, Wilson was compelled to 
request the recall of Dumba, though he would not demand that 
of von Papen. House was still working with Bernstorff to secure 
the formal disavowal of the sinking of the Arabic. On Septem- 
ber 12th, after a conversation with Polk, the new Chancellor for 
the State Department, House wrote: "Polk understands for the 
first time our true relations with Germany, and he feels it will 
be difficult, if not impossible, to avoid a rupture." 

The next day he wrote Gerard: "Things seem to be go- 


ing from bad to worse, and I can not tell you how critical they 
are at this moment. . . . The situation shifts so quickly from day 
to day, that it is hard to forecast anything. A few weeks ago it 
looked as if our troubles with Germany might be over. But now 
the situation is more tense than it has ever been, and a break 
may come before this letter reaches you." 

Like Bernstorff, he was sure the country would sustain a call 
to arms. On the 16th, Bernstorff appealed to him for more 
delay. The trouble was with the German Navy leaders, but he 
was sure there would be no more "sinkings" of American 
vessels. House told him to find out just how far his Government 
proposed to go in making amends, and let him know in advance 
of its note. Then he could find out from Wilson if the German 
proposals were acceptable, to avoid their public rejection. 

Von Tirpitz was by no means satisfied with the order of 
August 30th which had overruled him. "On my stating that the 
contents of this order made it impossible for me to remain in 
office, the Emperor granted me a short private audience, and I 
was promised a modified order. Accordingly, on September 
19th, 1915, I received the Imperial assurance that it was His 
Majesty's full intention to take my opinion on all important 
questions of naval policy; and I thereupon resolved not to insist 
on my release. A large number of politicians and persons of 
very high position had urged me to this resolve. 

"Admiral Bachmann, however, who had protested against 
the Emperor being thus taken by storm by the Chancellor, was 
relieved, being replaced by Admiral von Holtzendorff, who had 
been placed on half pay after the naval manoeuvres of 1912. 
Prior to his appointment, he had on several occasions expressed 
himself in favor of the views of von Bethmann. He was 
instructed to take up his regular residence, not at General 
Headquarters, but in Berlin, a course which circumstances at 
that time also prescribed for myself." 

The day after von Tirpitz was reinstated in the good graces 
of the Emperor, and ordered to duty in Berlin as 


Secretary of State for Naval Affairs, Wilson declared that he 
was perplexed over Bernstorff s attitude. In his letters to House 
he seemed to be one person, in his interviews with the 
newspapermen, quite another. Wilson was at a loss to know 
which, if either, was the genuine Bernstorff. He believed that 
Bernstorff was anxious to avoid a formal disavowal of the 
sinking of the Arabic, saw no possibility of his yielding. The 
country would regard Wilson as too easily satisfied, and any 
general promise of better intentions on Germany's part as utterly 
untrustworthy. He believed that the Germans were moving with 
intentional and exasperating slowness. 

The situation would have been easier for Bernstorff to deal 
with if there had been any one in supreme control in Germany. 
The letters of Gerard give an extraordinary picture of the 
political confusion there, which contrasted forcibly with the 
efficiency of German military organization. Of victory they 
seemed confident, but there was no agreement as to how they 
would use it. Councils were equally divided on the problem of 
how to answer Wilson's demands for a disavowal of the Arabic 
sinking. And through the story ran a thread of petty espionage 
and propaganda, which seemed more suitable for a cinema than 
for the successors of Bismarck. Gerard also wrote of the 
growing feeling among the German Socialists that Wilson must 
be the world mediator. 

While Bernstorff was trying to pump House about the effect 
on Wilson of "hyphenism" and "frightfulness," House was 
assuring him that Wilson was in no wise concerned over the 
Pro-German vote "since it was always Republican." In this 
situation, Sir Edward Grey began to press the formation of a 
league of nations. 

"London, September 22, 1915. 
"Dear Colonel House: — 

"... To me, the great object of securing the elimination of 
militarism and navalism is to get security for the future against 
aggressive war. How much are the United States prepared to do 
in this direction? Would the President propose that there 


should be a League of Nations, binding themselves to side 
against any Power which broke a treaty; which broke certain 
rules of warfare on sea or land (such rules would, of course, 
have to be drawn up after this war); or which refused, in case of 
dispute, to adopt some other method of settlement than that of 
war? Only in some such agreement do I see a prospect of 
diminishing militarism and navalism in future, so that no 
nation will build up armies or navies for aggressive purposes. I 
can not say which Governments would be prepared to accept 
such a proposal, but I am sure that the Government of the 
United States is the only Government that could make it with 
effect. ... 

Yours sincerely, 

"E. Grey." 

Finally, on October 2nd, Bernstorff telephoned House that 
he had received sufficient authority from Berlin to satisfy 
Wilson's demands, and three days later he sent Lansing the 
necessary formal letter. But at the last moment the German 
Ambassador was compelled to act upon his own initiative, in 
eliminating Berlin's demand for arbitration on conflicting 
evidence regarding the Arabic's intention to ram the submarine. 
He explained to House that he had himself made the change, 
after the President and Lansing had insisted on it. To Lansing 
he wrote: 

"The orders issued by His Majesty the Emperor to the com- 
manders of the German submarines — of which I notified you on 
a previous occasion — have been made so stringent, that the 
recurrence of incidents similar to the Arabic case is considered 
out of the question. According to the report of Commander 
Schneider of the submarine that sank the Arabic, and his affi- 
davit, as well as those of his men, Commander Schneider was 
convinced that the Arabic was intending to ram the submarine. 
On the other hand, the Imperial Government does not doubt the 
good faith of the affidavits of the British officers of the Arabic, 
according to which the Arabic did not intend to ram the 
submarine. The attack of the submarine, therefore, was 
undertaken against the instructions issued to the commander. 
The Imperial Government regrets and disavows this act, and has 
notified Commander Schneider accordingly. Under these 
circumstances, my Government is prepared to pay an indemnity 


for the American lives which, to its deep regret, have been lost 
on the Arabic." 

Bernstorff deemed this a diplomatic victory for the United 
States. "But," he said, "it produced, not a settlement of 
American problems of neutrality, but merely another breathing 
space." This Page well understood, and urged his ideas upon 
Wilson in a letter calculated to seal his doom. 

"American Embassy, London, Oct. 5, 1915. 
"Dear Mr. President: — 

"I have two letters that I have lately written to you, but 
which I have not sent, because they utterly lack good cheer. 
After reading them over, I have not liked to send them. Yet I 
should fail of my duty, if I did not tell you bad news as well as 

"The high esteem in which our Government was held when 
the first Lusitania note to Germany was sent, seems all changed 
to indifference or pity — not hatred or hostility, but a sort of 
hopeless and sad pity. That ship was sunk just five months ago; 
the German Government (or its Ambassador) is yet holding 
conversations about the principle involved, making "conces- 
sions" and promises for the future, and so far we have done 
nothing to hold the Germans to accountability. In the meantime 
their submarine fleet has been so reduced that probably the 
future will take care of itself, and we shall be used as a sort of 
excuse for their failure. This is what the English think and say; 
and they explain our failure to act by concluding that the peace- 
at-any-price sentiment dominates the Government and 
paralyzes it. They have now, I think, given up hope that we will 
ever take any action. So deeply rooted (and, I fear, permanent) 
is this feeling, that every occurrence is made to fit into and to 
strengthen this supposition. When Dumba was dismissed, they 
said: 'Dumba, merely the abject tool of German intrigue. Why 
not Bernstorff?' When the Anglo-French loan was over- 
subscribed, they said: 'The people's sympathy is most welcome, 
but their Government is paralyzed.' Their respect has gone — at 
least for the time being. 

"It is not that they expect us to go to war; many, in fact, do 
not wish us to. They expected that we would be as good as our 
word and hold the Germans to accountability. Now I fear they 


think little of our word. I shudder to think what our relations 
might be if Sir Edward Grey were to yield to another as Foreign 
Minister, as, of course, he must yield at some time. 

"The press has less to say than it had a few weeks ago. 
Punch, for instance, which ridiculed and pitied us in six car- 
toons and articles in each of two succeeding numbers, entirely 
forgets us this week. But they've all said their say. I am, in a 
sense, isolated — lonely in a way that I have never before been. I 
am not exactly avoided, I hope, but I surely am not sought. 
They have a polite feeling that they do not wish to offend me, 
and that to make sure of this, the safest course is to let me 
alone. There is no mistaking the great change in the attitude of 
men I know, both in official and private life. 

"It comes down and comes back to this — that for five 
months after the sinking of the Lusitania the Germans are yet 
playing with us, that we have not sent Bernstorff home, and 
hence that we will submit to any rebuff or any indignity. It is 
under these conditions — under this judgment of us — that we 
now work — the English respect for our Government infinitely 
lessened, and instead of the old-time respect, a sad pity. I can 
not write more. 

"Heartily yours, 


In vain had Harvey tried to counsel Wilson. Now he gave 
fair warning to the man he had made President. 

"We are wearied," he wrote in the October number of 
Harper's Weekly, "of the ceaseless prattle from Washington of 
the 'gratifications' of high officials over the 'relaxing of tension,' 
and prospective concessions from the Imperial Government. 
There would be no 'tension' if Germany would respect our 
rights, observe the laws of civilized warfare, and cease 
interfering with our domestic affairs." 

Wilson's position was becoming more and more untenable. 
Dr. Jacobs and the Lysistratans, encouraged by Bryan, 
demanded that he organize a movement among the neutrals to 
enforce peace upon Europe. Carnegie, Root, Taft, Butler, 
Marburg, Eliot, Grey, and even House and Houston, insisted 
that he arm the country, without further delay. He was 
convinced that if he did either, he was certain to be defeated in 


According to his advices, the most effective use of his 
democratic appeals had been made by secret agents in Ger- 
many, Austria, and Hungary. The two last were weakening 
rapidly. 109 On the other hand, there was still a chance of the 
Balkan states joining the Entente. Should they do this, Austria- 
Hungary would almost certainly abandon Germany. Then peace 
would come, there would be no need for American intervention, 
Germany would have to look to him, and join a league of 
nations, and he would be overwhelmingly reelected in 1916 for 
his foresight. 

These were the things which were, apparently, in his mind 
when he received an invitation to address the Daughters of the 
Revolution on October 11th, at their annual convention in 

Was it chance that led to the announcement on October 7th 
of his engagement to Mrs. Gait, whom he had met the 
preceding April? Or was this carefully designed to give him a 
sympathetic audience? 

Two days later, the German Government perversely took 
occasion to publish the sentence of death which a military 
court-martial had passed upon Edith Cavell — a British military 
nurse in Belgium, who had been convicted as a spy. General 
Bissing's confirmation of the death sentence, offset completely 
all previous propaganda, which might have served to discount 
the atrocities in Belgium. 

Countless appeals from all quarters were addressed to 
Wilson to interpose on behalf of the condemned woman. The 
thought of such a crime against humanity, was horrifying to the 
patriotic women of America, whom he was about to address. 
Surely he could say nothing less than that, in the name of 
humanity, the time had come for American intervention. 

Yet it was the things which were uppermost in his own 
mind, to which he gave expression. Apparently unmoved by the 
appeals for Edith Cavell, he dwelt upon the dangers of 
"hyphenization" and his difficulties in maintaining neutrality; 
while he made once more a powerful appeal to the peoples of 
Europe over the heads of their governments. 190 


Two days after this strange speech, in which the American 
political system was idealized, Edith Cavell was executed. 
Wilson's critics commented with renewed bitterness on the 
"humanitarian idealism" that could still urge "neutrality of 
thought" on the American people in the face of such a crime 
against humanity. 



Working with Gompers and Schwab, Wood Becomes a 
Possible Opponent of Wilson. Lansing and Latin America. 
Bulgaria Joins the Central Allies. Page and Gerard In a 
"Blue Funk." The Lysistratans Capture Henry Ford. Fearful 
that Germany Will Defeat the Entente, Wilson Decides upon 
a Change of Policy. He Contemplates Intervention. Carranza 
Recognized. Wilson Suddenly Advocates "Preparedness." 
The Pacifists Protest. The Central Allies Respond by 
Sinking the "An-cona." German Sabotage. Wilson Terrified. 
The Allies Reject his Suggestions. Marburg Plans to Capture 
the Socialists. 

WOOD CONTINUED, meanwhile, to labor at his task. 
Foreseeing the importance of disciplined labor, he 
enlisted the interest of Samuel Gompers in a training 
camp for laboring men, and, with the aid of Charles M. Schwab, 
formulated a plan for industrial mobilization in case of war. 
With Bernard Baruch he discussed the formation of a 
committee of business executives, to aid the Government in 
matters of transportation, and the purchase of supplies. He kept 
in constant touch with the greatest minds in the financial and 
industrial world. With President Loree of the Lackawanna, he 
discussed the coordination of the railroads of the country with a 
view to rushing men and supplies to designated points on the 
Atlantic seaboard. The matter seemed to Wood of such 
importance, that he persuaded Loree to lay it before the War 
Department. Loree returned from Washington thoroughly 
disgusted — the distinguished general who had received him and 
his committee, had gone to sleep in the midst of the discussion! 


The incident was characteristic — Scott, the most devoted 
and high-minded of men, was entirely beyond his depth as 
Chief of Staff, and the prestige of the general staff had van- 
ished. Wood found that his efforts must overcome not only the 
opposition of the Administration, but the inertia of the War 
Department. He now exploited to the full, the influence of the 
youth of the country, which he had organized and made vocal 
through the training camps. The "Platts-burgers" had become a 
distinct political factor, a thorn in Wilson's side. 

It was an astounding instance of long vision and creative 
statesmanship. What Wood had begun in 1913, thousands of 
men, whom he had inspired, were carrying forward. They 
carried it beyond the military arm into the Navy. A naval 
training association was formed to urge the creation of a naval 
reserve. Arrangements were made for setting aside a dozen 
battleships for purposes of training. 

The phenomenal effectiveness of the Plattsburg movement 
deepened Wood's confidence, not only in the justice of his 
cause, but in the practicality of his method. With an assurance 
which carried conviction, he now passed beyond the idea of 
merely enlarging the regular establishment, and providing a 
reserve. Considering the success of universal compulsory 
training in Australia, as well as in Europe, and the failure of the 
volunteer system in Great Britain, he now began to preach the 
doctrine of compulsory military service. To this he quickly 
committed not only his political following, but Scott and the 
General Staff. 

The suggestion was now made that, if the opposition to 
Wilson desired a candidate on whom Progressives and Re- 
publicans might unite, they could not do better than Wood. 
Hagedorn says Wood did not take this seriously, but he was 
probably wrong; for there can be no doubt that Wood knew the 
Internationalists were looking for a likely candidate to forestall 
Roosevelt, and defeat Wilson. Not for nothing was Wood 
protected by House, Houston, and Baruch. Seeing that Wood 
had completely captivated not only Gompers but Schwab and 
Baruch — the last Wilson's 


own close friend — the President became fearful of Wood's 
possible candidacy. This was but another lever in House's 

The break down of the Scott-Garfield plan for the paci- 
fication of Mexico, had left the problem even more complicated 
than before. Lansing therefore called a conference of the 
representatives of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Bolivia, Uraguay, 
and Guatemala, to enlist their aid. To convince them that 
Wilson intended no interference in Latin American affairs, they 
were asked to express their ideas as to the right ruler for 
Mexico. While the South Americans were probably not 
deceived as to Wilson's intentions, they unanimously 
recommended the recognition of Carranza. 

Such was the situation when both Gerard and Page fell into 
a "blue funk." Gerard went so far as to declare that Germany 
had virtually "won the war." All information from the Allies 
indicated they were on the verge of defeat. 

Despairing of inducing Wilson to mediate, the Lysistra-tans 
now set out after other game, and captured Henry Ford. "I 
should judge," wrote House, who was also being pursued by 
them, "that Ford is a mechanical genius, who may become a 
prey to all sorts of faddists who desire his money." 

Ford had, in fact, agreed to finance a "peace argosy" for the 
Lysistratans, who proposed to storm the belligerents with 
appeals for peace, and were anxious to enlist both Wilson and 
House in their cause. The latter was, much to his disgust, 
actually invited by Ford to join the expedition. 

House now renewed his efforts to impress on Wilson the 
danger of the situation. The time had now come, he argued, 
when considerations of national security demanded intervention 
on behalf of the Entente. Moreover, to ignore the demands of 
the League to Enforce Peace for adequate military legislation, 
would be suicidal. A strong appeal to the patriotism of the 
country would defeat any remaining opposition to 
"preparedness." The country, as a whole, was not opposed to 
the creation of an emergency force, to be employed in actual 
national defense. David Starr Jor- 


dan, President of the American Peace Society, and an active 
member of the League to Enforce Peace, was prepared to 
sponsor resolutions calling for adequate military measures. 
Though the Lysistratans had enlisted the aid of Henry Ford, no 
one took their proposals seriously. Thousands of sincere 
pacifists would all the more readily support the President, after 
they had seen the futility of Bryan, Henry Ford, and Dr. Jacobs, 
trying to talk the belligerents into a peace! Moreover, if 
Carranza were recognized and the embargo lifted on the export 
of arms to his Government, he might naturally be expected to 
neutralize Villa. That would make so large a military 
establishment as the one which Garrison and Wood had 
proposed, seem unnecessary even to the "militarists," so that 
they would be satisfied with less. If, on the other hand, the 
danger of "hyphenism" were stressed sufficiently by the 
President, a rousing appeal to the patriotism of the pacifists 
would assure their support to the administration. 

Should the Central Allies threaten to prevail, America 
would be in position to intervene to save the Entente from 
defeat. Should this become necessary, Wilson's foresight would 
be hailed with approval by the country. He might also expect 
the affirmative aid of the Entente Governments, who would 
naturally put out enormous propaganda in his support, instead 
of opposing him. 

The danger of a German victory if Bulgaria joined the 
Central Allies, would be very great; compared to such a victory 
that would find America still neutral and unarmed, the risk of 
hostilities as an associate of the Entente was inconsiderable. 
Even should Bulgaria join the Entente, this was Wilson's last 
chance to grasp the world leadership he craved. Should he 
reject it, argued House, the League to Enforce Peace, The 
National Security League, the Carnegie people, and others of 
their kind, cooperating with the Republicans, would almost 
certainly encompass his defeat in the Autumn. 

Wilson still hesitated, hoping that Bulgaria would join the 
Entente, and end the danger. Bulgaria, however, cast her lot 
with the Central Allies, and one of the darkest hours 


of the war was at hand. To many all seemed lost. Wilson no 
longer dared risk the consequences of adhering to his old 
policy. He authorized the importunate House to write the 
following letter, to prepare the Entente for American 

"Colonel House to Sir Edward Grey. 
"New York, October 17, 1915. 
"Dear Sir Edward: — 

"... It has occurred to me that the time may soon come 
when this Government should intervene between the belliger- 
ents, and demand that peace parleys begin upon the broad basis 
of the elimination of militarism and navalism. . . . 

"In my opinion, it would be a world-wide calamity if the 
war should continue to a point where the Allies could not, with 
the aid of the United States, bring about a peace along the lines 
you and I have so often discussed. What I want you to know is 
that, whenever you consider the time is propitious for this inter- 
vention, I will propose it to the President. He may then desire 
me to go to Europe, in order that a more intimate understanding 
as to procedure may be had. 

"It is in my mind that, after conferring with your Govern- 
ment, I should proceed to Berlin, and tell them that it was the 
President's purpose to intervene and stop this destructive war, 
provided the weight of the United States thrown on the side that 
accepted our proposal could do it. 

"I would not let Berlin know, of course, of any understand- 
ing had with the Allies, but would rather lead them to think our 
proposal would be rejected by the Allies. This might induce 
Berlin to accept the proposal, but, if they did not do so, it would 
nevertheless be the purpose to intervene. If the Central Powers 
were still obdurate, it would probably be necessary for us to 
join the Allies, and force the issue. 

"It might be well for you to cable me under the code we 
have between us, unless you prefer to send a letter. The under- 
standing will be that the discussion is entirely between you and 
me, until it is desired that it be broadened further. . . . 

"Sincerely yours, 

"E. M. HOUSE." 

Grey was, of course, overjoyed. Two days later Wilson 
extended the recognition of the United States to the Car-ranza 
Government, and lifted the embargo on the shipment 


of arms, while Garrison was directed to prepare a military bill 
providing for the national defense, to be introduced at the next 
session of Congress as an Administration measure. Not 
knowing what was going on in Wilson's mind, the country was 
amazed by the recognition of Carranza. Even the Chief of Staff 
was left in ignorance. When Scott had rendered his report to 
Wilson on the border situation, and urged him not to recognize 
Carranza, the President had given the General no intimation of 
his intention: "I never knew why he did it," says Scott. "I asked 
the officers of the State Department, junior to the Secretary, 
why such a thing had been done, and they said they did not 
know, for they had all advised against it, a month previous to 
the recognition." The old General makes the naive observation: 
"that information has always made the President's step even 

t~ it 191 

more of a mystery to me. 

According to schedule, late in October, David Starr Jordan 
presented to Wilson resolutions of the American Peace Society, 
calculated to discredit the absurd proposals of Bryan and the 
Lysistratans. This public demand from pacifists for more active 
measures to bring the war to an end, put Wilson in a position to 
come out squarely for "military preparedness," without risk. 

Nevertheless, Wilson had still no idea of sanctioning 
adequate military measures. His action was to be but a gesture 
to deceive the Germans. Garrison's proposals were brushed 
aside. A paper army was all that Wilson wanted, and there was 
no arguing with him. He still proposed to overwhelm the 
Central Allies with words! 

He was to outline his new policy in an explanatory address 
at the Manhattan Club of New York on November 4. 1915, 
appealing again to the Germans over the head of their 

"A year and a half ago our thought would have been almost 
altogether of great domestic questions. They are many and of 
vital consequence. We must and shall address ourselves to 
their solution with diligence, firmness, and self-possession, 
notwithstanding we find ourselves in the midst of a world 
disturbed by 


great disaster, and ablaze with terrible war; but our thought is 
now inevitably of new things, about which formerly we gave 
ourselves little concern. We are thinking now chiefly of our 
relations with the rest of the world — not our commercial rela- 
tions — about those we have thought and planned always, — but 
about our political relations, our duties as an individual and 
independent force in the world, to ourselves, our neighbors, 
and the world itself." 

After a long dissertation on American democracy, 
America's love of peace, and the danger of "hyphenism," he 
outlined his military program, one that did not call for a 
material enlargement of the regular establishment, and only 
provided for the training of a makeshift reserve of 400,000 
citizen soldiers, in annual contingents of 133,000. He 

"No thoughtful man feels any panic haste in this matter. The 
country is not threatened from any quarter. She stands in 
friendly relations with all the world. Her resources are known, 
and her self-respect, and her capacity to care for her own citi- 
zens and her own rights. There is no fear amongst us. Under the 
new- world conditions, we have become thoughtful of the things 
which all reasonable men consider necessary for security and 
self-defense, on the part of every nation confronted with the 
great enterprise of human liberty and independence. That is 

The statement that the country was not threatened from any 
quarter, that with an army on its own borders defending its 
rights, and the Germans destroying its citizens, it was in 
"friendly relations with all the world," was almost incredible. It 
would have been difficult to select words better calculated to 
mislead the country, to lull it into a sense of false security. 
Plainly they were designed for the triple purpose of scaring the 
Germans, satisfying the League to Enforce Peace, and 
reassuring the pacifists at the same time. Nevertheless, the pro- 
ally partisans were jubilant. To them it seemed that Wilson had 
at last found himself. Grey had remained silent since hearing 
from House that Wilson was considering intervention; but, on 
November 9th, he cabled House inquiring if the letter of 
October 17th was to be 


taken in conjunction with his own letter of September 22, 1915. 

When House inquired of Wilson what reply he should make 
to Grey, he found, to his utter amazement, that Wilson had 
undergone another change of heart. A deluge of protests from 
the Nationalists of the Democratic party, the pro-Germans and 
the pacifists had poured upon him. "What does this mean?" they 
all demanded. Is the Administration planning to throw the 
United States into the war on the side of the Entente? 

Wilson was dreadfully alarmed and perplexed. He feared he 
had gone too far, acted too precipitately. He could only hear the 
protests, not the applause. In vain House continued to plead for 

"New York, November 10, 1915. 
"Dear Governor: — 

"... It seems to me that we must throw the influence of this 
nation in behalf of a plan by which international obligations 
must be kept, and in behalf of some plan by which the peace of 
the world may be maintained. We should do this not only for 
the sake of civilization, but for our own welfare — for who may 
say when we may be involved in such a holocaust as is now 
devastating Europe? 

"Must we not be a party to the making of new and more 
humane rules of warfare, and must we not lend our influence 
towards the freedom of both the land and sea? This is the part I 
think you are destined to play in this world tragedy, and it is the 
noblest part that has ever come to a son of man. This country 
will follow you along such a path, no matter what the cost may 

"Your affectionate, 

"E. M. HOUSE." 

Wilson remained adamant, while the Central Allies pro- 
ceeded to intensify his fears. In response to his preparedness 
speech, the British ship Ancona was sunk by an Austrian 
submarine, with the loss of more American lives, in complete 
disregard of the assurances given by Germany after the 
destruction of the Arabia, while the German agents instituted a 
program of sabotage in the United States, 


which, by their own subsequent admission, was designed to 
terrify Wilson, Congress, and the pacifists. 

The effect of all this was well calculated. Although the 
usual note of protest against the "inhuman and barbarous" 
sinking of the Ancona was duly despatched, the Austrian 
"explanation" that a mine had caused the loss, was accepted as 
entirely satisfactory! Wilson was particularly anxious not to 
antagonize the Austrians, because of his hope of detaching the 
dual monarchy from Germany. 

His own Cabinet was puzzled. "I am afraid," wrote Lane at 
this time, "that we are going to have a great deal of trouble in 
getting our preparedness program through, because of 
dissension in our own ranks, and because the Republicans are 
so anxious to take advantage of this emergency to raise the 
tariff duties, and to gain credit for whatever is done in the way 
of preparation. We are too much dominated by partisanship, to 
be really patriotic. This is a very broad indictment, but it seems 
to be justified. Of course, the people like Bryan and Ford, and 
the women generally, are moved by a philosophy that is too 
idealistic, and some of them are only moved, I fear, by an 
intense exaggerated ego. If I would have to name the one curse 
of the present day, I would say it is the love of notoriety, and 
the assumption by almost everyone that his judgment is as good 
as that of the ablest. Of course the trouble with the ablest people 
is, that they are so largely moved by forces that do not appear 
on the surface, that one does not know that the views they 
express are really their own judgment. Democracy seems to be 
government by suspicion, in large part. We have faith in 
ourselves, but not in each other. A man, to be a good partisan, 
seems called upon to believe that every man of different view is 
a crook or a weakling-This is a Roosevelt idea. And half of it 
is the Bryan idea. 

It was useless for House to try to make the British un- 
derstand Wilson's situation. Their confidence in him was gone. 
On November 26th, Bryce wrote House that he had heard that 
Jane Addams, "who ought to have known better after her 
journey around Europe," and others had been trying to engineer 
a movement for mediation. They might 


have spared themselves the trouble. The British were not in the 
least discouraged by the Balkan difficulties, and the Armenian 
massacres, which the German Government could have stopped, 
had heightened British antagonism against them, as well as 
against the Turks. The rule of the latter over Christians, Bryce 
insisted, must be extinguished once for all. The Allies would 
therefore entertain no more suggestions of peace negotiations, 
since they were sure that Germany would not listen to any terms 
they could propose. Those terms must include the evacuation of 
Belgium, with ample compensation to her for all her suffering, 
and also, of course, the evacuation of Northern France and 
Luxemburg. Germany would, on the other hand, he asserted, in- 
sist upon indemnities, since, without them, bankruptcy stared 
her in the face. Hence, said Bryce, there was nothing for it but 
to fight on. 

Toward the close of November, House heard again from 
Grey. The British Government still felt that, by refusing to 
accept the principle of the Allied Blockade, Wilson was 
threatening to strike the weapon of sea power from the hands of 
Great Britain, and that he must recognize their situation before 
they could accept his leadership. 

With the British attitude, House himself sympathized 
absolutely. "I do not see how they could commit themselves in 
advance to any proposition without knowing exactly what it 
was, and knowing that the United States was prepared to 
intervene and make good, if they accepted. " 

"I tried to impress upon Lansing," he also wrote on 
November 28th, "the necessity of the United States making it 
clear to the Allies that we considered their cause our cause, and 
that we had no intention of permitting a military autocracy to 
dominate the world, if our strength could prevent it. We 
believed this was a fight between democ-racy and autocracy 
and we would stand with democracy. I pointed out that it was 
impossible to maintain cordial relations with Germany, not only 
for the reason that her system of government was different in its 
conception from ours, but also because so much hate against us 
had been engendered, that it would be perhaps a generation or 
two before 


it could die out. Germany was being taught that her lack of 
success could be directly attributed to us. It was evident that the 
Government there was looking for some excuse for failure, and 
the easiest and best, in their opinion, seemed to be the United 
States' 'unneutral attitude in regard to the shipment of munitions 
of war, and the lending of money to her enemies.' I thought also 
that, unless we did have a complete and satisfactory 
understanding with the Allies, we would be wholly without 
friends when the war was ended, and our position would be not 
only perilous, but might become hurtful from an economic 

"Lansing agreed to this and we discussed the best means of 
reaching an understanding. He thought they should recall the 
British Ambassador, and send such a man as Lord Bryce, with 
whom we could talk understandingly." 

Meantime Marburg's two organizations — the American 
Society for Judicial Settlement of International Disputes, and 
the League to Enforce Peace, had become greatly confused in 
the public mind, while Bryan assailed both. Therefore, to 
separate the World Court proposal from the proposition of 
enforced peace, Carnegie, Root, Butler, Taft and Marburg now 
brought about the formation of the League for a World Court, 
with Taft as President. This, the American Peace Society, the 
World Peace Foundation, and the Carnegie Endowment could 
alike support without criticism from Bryan. At the same time, it 
would serve as a powerful lever to compel the support of 
Roosevelt and Wood for the first step in the Internationalist 



The "Peace Argosy" Arrives in Europe. Wilson's Second 
Marriage. Boy-Ed and von Papen Dismissed. An Avowed 
Candidate for Renomination, Wilson Undertakes to Retrieve 
Himself. Efforts Looking to the Reorganization of the 
Democratic Party and the Ousting of McCombs. Wilson 
Outlines to the Belligerents the Conditions upon which the 
United States will Enter a League of Nations. Hedges on 
"Preparedness." A Threatened Revolt in Congress. Lane's 
Simile of '"Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." 

THE SECOND WINTER of the war was an early one — it 
settled over Europe like a black frost. Numb with pain, 
chilled by the cold of despair, the belligerent peoples were 
almost silent with anguish when the "Peace Argosy," setting 
forth from New York, December 4th, with Ford himself aboard, 
arrived in the North Sea. 

Aristophanes had had no such material for his comedies. 
The vessel had been well stocked with supplies, and numerous 
guests and newspaper correspondents! These had amused 
themselves by inciting violent discords among the Lysistratans, 
almost to the stage of armed conflict. Long before the argosy 
reached the theater of European warfare, strife no less bitter was 
in progress among those abroad. At Christiania, Ford 
abandoned the ship, and returned home to pay the bills! 

The belligerents may be forgiven if, with overtaxed sense of 
humor, they refused at first to allow these doughty radicals to 
land. A humorous proposal was heard in Amer-ica, that they be 
barred from returning by Wilson, as neutral neither in mind nor 
act! They finally proceeded to Germany, and thence to the 
Hague. Gulled outrageously, 


and relieved of a great sum of money by these militant So- 
cialists, Henry Ford was henceforth a wiser and less aggressive 
pacifist than before. 

Wilson was to be married December 18, 1915. The tongues 
of scandal wagged unmercifully. Yet no one had any doubt that 
Wilson intended to claim a second nomination. The time had 
come for him to make his long anticipated bid to the country, 
and to reorganize the Democratic party. 

While the events of the past several weeks had convinced 
him that he had gone too fast in advocacy of a league of nations, 
and of "preparedness," he could no longer ignore the rising 
demand for the dismissal of Bernstorff, Boy-Ed and von Papen. 
The departure of the Ambassador might probably mean war, 
and his retention was really necessary to continue negotiations. 
Wilson therefore decided to give the attaches their passports on 
December 3rd, in the hope this would silence the popular 
clamor. This having been done, the report was circulated that 
Bernstorff was guilty of no wrong, despite abundant evidence 
against him. 

Wilson worked feverishly on his third annual message, 
without taking either House or the Cabinet into his confidence. 
He proposed to satisfy with sheer eloquence the Nationalists, 
Pacifists, and pro-Germans, the League to Enforce Peace, and 
the Democratic party generally. 

But he must do more than this — the party machinery was in 
bad shape and must be reorganized. The McAdoo-Tumulty- 
Burleson-Daniels patronage group had sought, from the first, to 
oust McCombs as Chairman. Repeated polls of the National 
Committee, however, had invariably revealed a large majority 
opposed to his removal, notwithstanding the fact that control of 
patronage had been almost entirely taken out of his hands, in 
direct violation or the Committee's ruling of March, 1912. This 
flagrant disregard of the Committee's will had, more than the 
influence of McCombs himself, undoubtedly contributed to his 
retention. The Committee was called to meet, ostensibly for the 
purpose of arranging for the Convention, on the 


very day Wilson was to address Congress. Having learned of a 
definite plot on the part of his enemies to remove him, 
McCornbs had busied himself with organizing a majority to 
prevent this. Two days before the meeting, McCornbs arrived in 
Washington to find the Committee split over the question of 
whether Frederick B. Lynch of Minnesota, Vance McCormick 
of Pennsylvania, or Henry Morgenthau of New York, should be 
his successor; while there was also a division as between 
Chicago, St. Louis and Dallas for the Convention. On the eve of 
the meeting, the plot to remove McCornbs was exposed by the 
New York American. 

Such was the situation when, on December 7, 1915, Wilson 
appeared in person, as usual, before Congress, and said: 

"Since I last had the privilege of addressing you on the state 
of the Union, the war of nations on the other side of the sea, 
which had then only begun to disclose its portentous propor- 
tions, has extended its threatening and sinister scope, until it 
has swept within its flame some portion of every quarter of the 
globe, not excepting our own hemisphere, has altered the whole 
face of international affairs, and now presents a prospect of 
reorganization and reconstruction such as statesmen and 
peoples have never been called upon to attempt before. 

"We have stood apart, studiously neutral. It was our 
manifest duty to do so. Not only did we have no part or interest 
in the policies which seem to have brought the conflict on; it 
was necessary, if a universal catastrophe was to be avoided, 
that a limit should be set to the sweep of destructive war, and 
that some part of the great family of nations should keep the 
processes of peace alive, if only to prevent collective economic 
ruin, and the breakdown throughout the world of the industries 
by which its populations are fed and sustained. It was 
manifestly the duty of the self-governed nations of this 
hemisphere to redress, if possible, the balance of economic loss 
and confusion in the other, if they could do nothing more. In 
the day of readjustment and recuperation, we earnestly hope 
and believe that they can be of infinite service. 

"In this neutrality, to which they were bidden not only by 
their separate life and their habitual detachment from the poli- 
tics of Europe, but also by a clear perception of international 
duty, the states of America have become conscious of a new 


more vital community of interest and moral partnership in 
affairs, more clearly conscious of the many common 
sympathies and interests and duties, which bid them stand 
together. " 

The first paragraph here quoted might have been copied 
from any one of Marburg's writings. On the very day this 
repeated claim of neutrality was made by Wilson, House wrote 
Grey: "What is needed at present is a better working 
understanding with you, and how this is to be brought about is 
uppermost in our thoughts. The machinery we are using is not 
altogether satisfactory." Manifestly Wilson was no more 
neutral in thought now, than he had been in August, 1914. 

On behalf of Pan-Americanism, he went on to say that the 
day had passed when the United States entertained any thought 
of exercising a suzerainty over Latin America. De-spite the 
recent warfare against Mexico and the deliberate ousting of 
Huerta, he declared that the "persistent noninterference" of the 
Administration in Mexican affairs, was proof of Mexico's 
complete independence of action. 

After reviewing again the material advantages of neutrality, 
he urged once more the passage of the Jones-Hobson Shipping 
Bill; and although he had rejected the proposals of the 
Secretary of War as to national defense, he dwelt at great length 
upon the military plan of the administration, describing it as 
that of the War Department. For the benefit of the pacifists, he 
undertook to explain that it involved no material enlargement of 
the regular establishment. 

In conclusion, the message dealt with the "hyphenate 
question" in a way calculated to show the need of the measure 
he advocated: 

"I have spoken to you today, gentlemen, upon a single 
theme, the thorough preparation of the nation to care for its own 
security, and to make sure of entire freedom to play the im- 
partial role in this hemisphere, and in the world, which we all 
believe to have been providentially assigned to it. I have had in 
my mind no thought of any immediate or particular danger 
arising out of our relations with other nations. We are at peace 
with all the nations of the world, and there is reason to hope that 
no question in controversy between this and other Gov- 


ernments, will lead to any serious breach of amicable relations, 
grave as some differences of attitude and policy have been, and 
may yet turn out to be. I am sorry to say that the gravest 
threats against our national peace and safety have been uttered 
within our own borders. There are citizens of the United States, 
I blush to admit, born under other flags but welcomed under our 
generous naturalization laws to the full freedom and oppor- 
tunity of America, who have poured the poison of disloyalty 
into the very arteries of our national life; who have sought to 
bring the authority and good name of our Government into 
contempt, to destroy our industries wherever they thought it 
effective for their vindictive purposes to strike at them, and to 
debase our policies to the uses of foreign intrigue. Their num- 
ber is not great, as compared with the whole number of those 
sturdy hosts by which our nation has been enriched in recent 
generations out of virile foreign stocks; but it is great enough to 
have brought deep disgrace upon us, and to have made it 
necessary that we should promptly make use of processes of 
law by which we may be purged of their corrupt distempers. 
America never witnessed anything like this before. It never 
dreamed it possible that men sworn into its own citizenship, 
men drawn out of great free stocks such as supplied some of the 
best and strongest elements of that little, but how heroic, nation 
that, in a high day of old, staked its very life to free itself from 
every entanglement that had darkened the fortunes of the older 
nations, and set up a new standard here, — that men of such 
origins and such free choices of allegiance would ever turn in 
malign reaction against the Government and people who had 
welcomed and nurtured them, and seek to make this proud 
country once more a hotbed of European passion. A little 
while ago such a thing would have seemed incredible. Because 
it was incredible, we made no preparation for it. We would 
have been almost ashamed to prepare for it, as if we were 
suspicious of ourselves, our own comrades and neighbors! But 
the ugly and incredible thing has actually come about, and we 
are without adequate federal laws to deal with it. I urge you to 
enact such laws at the earliest possible moment, and feel that, in 
doing so, I am urging you to do nothing less than save the honor 
and self-respect of the nation. Such creatures of passion, 
disloyalty, and anarchy must be crushed out. There are not 
many, but they are infinitely malignant, and the hand of our 
power should close over them at once. They have formed 
plots to destroy prop- 


erty, they have entered into conspiracies against the neutrality 
of the Government, they have sought to pry into every 
confidential transaction of the Government, in order to serve 
interests alien to our own. I need not suggest the terms in 
which they may be dealt with. 

"I wish that it could be said that only a few men, misled by 
mistaken sentiments of allegiance to the governments under 
which they were born, had been guilty of disturbing the self- 
possession, and misrepresenting the temper and principles of 
the country during these days of terrible war, when it would 
seem that every man who was truly an American, would in- 
stinctively make it his duty and his pride to keep the scales of 
judgment even, and prove himself a partisan of no nation but 
his own. But it cannot. There are some men among us, and 
many resident abroad, who, though born and bred in the United 
States and calling themselves Americans, have so forgotten 
themselves and their honor as citizens, as to put their 
passionate sympathy with one or the other side in the great 
European conflict, above their regard for the peace and dignity 
of the United States. They also preach and practice disloyalty. 
No laws, I suppose, can reach corruptions of the mind and 
heart; but I should not speak of others without also speaking of 
these, and expressing the even deeper humiliation and scorn 
which every self-possessed and thoughtfully patriotic 
American must feel, when he thinks of them and of the 
discredit they are daily bringing upon us." 129 

Obviously German propaganda and sabotage had done their 
work. Wilson was not only himself alarmed, but was trying to 
arouse the country to a sense of what he conceived to be a very 
real and widespread danger. Instantly a Senate investigation 
was instituted, only to find the danger gravely exaggerated, and 
due largely to Bernstorff. 

When Wilson returned to the White House after delivering 
this extraordinary message, he learned with dismay that the 
National Committee had retained McCombs as Chairman, and 
that St. Louis had been selected as the seat of the Convention. 
Wilson's troubles were not to end here — there were still other 
whirlwinds to reap. Neither the Bryanites, nor the League to 
Enforce Peace were satisfied with his message. In the London 
Times and Daily Math 


Roosevelt branded Wilson's policy as "pusillanimous." On the 
other hand, the Bryanites and pacifists in Congress, fearful of 
his purpose, now put forward a clever scheme to forestall the 
possibility of intervention on the side of the Allies. Unless 
Wilson warned American Nationals against traveling in the war 
zone, they proposed to secure resolutions in Congress 
withdrawing protection from them. The leading advocate of this 
scheme was William J. Stone, of Missouri, Chairman of the 
Foreign Relations Committee of the Senate, popularly known as 
"Gum Shoe." Though an ardent disciple of Bryan, he had 
always been willing to manipulate the Congressional element of 
the Middle West in support of the Administration, and had been 
Wilson's most valuable leader in the Senate. 

To those uninformed as to the conflicting influences bearing 
upon Wilson at this time, his actions must seem inexplicably 
confused. But from his point of view they were logical, nor did 
he ever act with more resolution than at this juncture, with his 
leadership threatened from so many quarters. 

In the mad pursuit of their own pet scheme, and utterly 
deceived as to the true sentiment of the country, Stone and the 
Democratic insurgents had miscalculated. Figuring that Wilson 
would not dare risk a split in the Democratic party, they 
themselves relieved him from the dilemma in which he found 
himself. Just as the League to Enforce Peace was compelling 
the Governments of the Central Allies to fight on for their 
existence, Bryan and Stone had done what was most apt to drive 
Wilson into an open espousal of intervention, by leaving him no 
choice. He had never doubted the willingness of a majority of 
the American people to respond to his call for action. For two 
years, the problem had been to keep them neutral, and the effort 
to do so had almost exhausted him. He had succeeded only by 
virtue of Marburg's tremendous propaganda, in combination 
with that of both the pro-Germans and the Entente Governments 
who, for different reasons, desired the country to remain 
neutral. Sure, from the reliable information in his possession, 
that he would be defeated for 


reelection if he countenanced the cowardly surrender of 
American rights on the high seas, Wilson had no choice but to 
accept the gauge of battle laid down by Stone. 

In this situation, his next step was plain. He must crush 
ruthlessly the threatened Democratic revolt, and to do this he 
must have a sympathetic party organization. Summoning the 
party leaders, he insisted that McCombs must go. They must 
bring about his resignation, or forfeit any chance of party 
success. After assurances on this point, he decided to utilize his 
honeymoon for a spectacular political tour of the Middle West, 
to carry fire and sword to his opponents. Meeting Bryan and 
Stone on their own ground, he would bedevil their section of the 
country into supporting him, by dwelling ceaselessly on the 
danger of "hyphenism." 

He kept his own counsel as to the next step — that Marburg 
and House were to be sent abroad to smooth the ruffled tempers 
of the Allies, and to insure, for the coming campaign, the secret 
support of their Governments, without which he could not hope 
for victory. 

The conception was brilliant; Wilson had never appeared to 
better advantage, as a politician. He was to go before the 
American people with a united Democratic organization, and 
with both the pro-Germans and the Entente behind him. The 
continued assault he proposed to make on the "hyphenates," 
would win for him thousands of patriotic non-partisan voters, as 
well as scare the pacifists into military preparations. 

This planned, he decided not to allow Roosevelt and Wood 
to monopolize the field of "preparedness." To take the wind out 
of Wood's spreading political sails, Wilson arranged, through 
Pulitzer, Baruch, Morgenthau and other Democratic 
Internationalists, to address the Gridiron Club in New York on 
December 11, 1915, as the avowed champion of national 
defense, with the press encouraged to feature his message. 

The Gridiron affair was designed to make Bryan, Stone, 
Kitchen, Villard, Ford, and the Lysistratans, look ridiculous. As 
explained by Lane, the head or reasonable end 


of the Democratic ass represented Wilson, and the kicking 
extremity the insurgents ! 

"Wilson made an exalted speech," wrote Lane to a friend. 
"He is spiritually great. . . . Don't you dare smile and think of 
the widow! We are all dual. . . . Today is Jekyll's day, and 
tomorrow is Hyde's, and so they alternate." 

Thus did the observant Lane analyze Wilson. A week after 
this "exalted speech," which aroused tremendous enthusiasm, 
Wilson was married. Nor was the malicious scandal abroad 
allowed to mar the bliss of the nuptials.* The Wilsons were 
both enthusiastic about the Western Tour. He was now in 
splendid fighting trim, with an understanding and sympathetic 
helpmate. "The President's lady," wrote Lane, "wears the smile 
which has given her such prominence. " 

On November 1, 1915, Wilson was being damned and 
cursed because he was opposed 'to defending the country's 
rights. On January 1, 1916, he was being popularly represented 
as the champion of "preparedness for national defense," and as 
the victim of men he had himself encouraged throughout two 
years of uncertainty. To many, this sudden shift in popular 
sentiment seemed to prove Wilson had gained such a hold on 
the popular imagination that the country would follow wherever 
he led. 

* Shackles of the Flesh, Anonymous. 



Marburg and House Visit Europe to Promote a League of 
Nations. Harvey Suspicious. Decides to Visit the Theatre of 
War. Wilson Commits Himself to the British Government. 
Defies the Democratic Party. Marburg, Bryce, and the 
Fabian Socialists Organize the League of Nations Society. 
Wood and Scott Advocate Compulsory Military Service 
before Congress, in Wilson's Absence. Harvey Returns from 
Europe. Lansing Raises a New, Issue with Great Britain. 
Discredited by Wilson. The "Hay" Bill. Garrison Resigns as 
Secretary of War. Baker Appointed. 

CONVINCED THAT WILSON was now committed beyond 
recourse, Marburg proceeded to London, to form, with 
Bryce's aid, a branch of the League to Enforce Peace in 
England, on the understanding that House would follow to 
speak for Wilson. As expected, he found his amended plan 
recommended itself more strongly to Englishmen generally than 
the first plan. In Bryce's opinion, compulsory recourse to 
arbitration was the best course. It was easy to win the aid of the 
Fabians, and to bring about, with the active aid of eminent 
writers like G. Lowes Dickinson, the organization of the League 
of Nations Society of England, with Lord Bryce as its president. 
With Taft and Bryce representing the movement in America 
and England, and with such internationally prominent advocates 
as Grey, Asquith, Churchill, Knox, Root, Lodge, Olney, and 
Beck, in addition to Socialist support, the consummation of 
Marburg's scheme seemed well on its way. Wilson's confidence 
seemed justified. Page remained on the defensive. 

There had been, in the past, a disposition on the part of 
European Governments to question House's authority, as 


was not unnatural. An agitation had been "engineered," says 
Smith, "by certain enemies of the Administration,* who had 
dug up a musty statute known as the Logan Law, enacted in the 
infant days of the Republic, to prohibit the conducting of 
negotiations with foreign Governments by a person who was 
not officially accredited to act for the United States." House was 
now formally accredited by Wilson, to qualify him as a 
diplomatic agent of the United States. 

House's own statement of the object of his mission follows: 

"I am going to Europe at the request of the President and 
Secretary of State. My task will be to take information to some 
of our Ambassadors, in order that they may have a more 
intimate knowledge of this Government's attitude regarding 
certain phases of pending international questions, and in order 
to obtain from them their personal point of view." 

When Harvey learned of House's proposed visit, he waxed 
satirical: "Instead of sending Colonel House abroad, President 
Wilson should go to Europe himself, to find out just what the 
people there think of him. . . . Wilson could leave Colonel 
House here to act as President during his absence. " 

"Colonel House," said the Springfield Republican, "is 
perhaps the only private citizen in America, who could not go 
to Europe at this time, without attracting an attention 
worldwide in its scope." Speculation as to his purpose varied 
from the hypothesis of an immediate peace conference, to the 
theory that he was despatched to reprimand American 
Ambassadors in European capitals. "Worldwide Attention," 
"An Interesting Mission," "Prospects of Peace," were typical 
headlines in representative newspapers for several days. 

The more bitter of the anti-Administration papers raised the 
question of the President's constitutional power to appoint an 
"agent of high diplomacy," without the approval of the Senate. 
American journalists in general, 

* Harvey among others. 


lacking any idea of the real purpose of House's mission, 
approved it on the ground that it would demand diplomatic tact, 
in which respect he was without equal. "Colonel House has 
proved himself a discreet and close-mouthed envoy in the past," 
said the Providence Journal, which was, in general, none too 
cordial toward Wilson, "and will doubtless maintain this 
reputation on his next expedition." "He will be welcomed in 
England," commented the Christian Science Monitor, "by 
newspaper men who . . . will be interested in continuing their 
study of at least one American, who not only possesses the 
faculty of keeping what he knows to himself, but the even rarer 
and greater faculty of disabusing the interviewer of the notion 
that he knows anything that is important enough to print." 

"Although he holds no office and never has held any," wrote 
another correspondent, "he far outweighs Cabinet officers and 
bureau heads in Washington affairs. He may not be the power 
behind the Presidential chair, but he is the power alongside of it. 
He is a figure without parallel in our political history. . . . 

"Colonel House asks nothing for himself. He hates the 
limelight with an intensity that bars him from public office. He 
is neither philanthropist nor reformer. He is a connoisseur of 
politics. . . . 

"Colonel House is one of the small wiry men, who do a 
great deal without any noise. His is a ball-bearing personality; 
he moves swiftly, but with never a squeak or a rasp. He can not 
be classified, because there never has been any one quite like 
him. Therefore he has been called 'assistant President' — a new 
name for a new and puzzling figure. " 

Harvey was much alarmed over the general situation, and 
decided to visit Europe himself, in order, says Johnson, to 
discover what was to be expected, and what were the real needs 
of the Entente Allies. It seems certain that he had long since 
become suspicious of Marburg, House, and Wilson, and was 
determined to do a little "snooping" on his own account, to find 
out from Page and others, exactly what was going on. 


House sailed from New York on the Holland American 
liner Rotterdam, December 28, 1915, on his fourth "super- 
ambassadorial" mission. Oddly enough, Captain Boy-Ed was 
one of the ship's company. The Germans were, of course, fully 
informed of his purpose. As if to show their contempt, they 
sank the Persia in the Mediterranean on the 29th. Among those 
lost, was Dr. Robert McNeely, American Consul at Aden. 
Denials of responsibility by both Germany and Austria- 
Hungary, were promptly made and accepted. The incident was 
so thoroughly glossed over by the Administration press, that it 
created little popular excitement. The country seemed to have 
lost both the desire and the power to protest further. Now it 
allowed its foreign representatives to be killed with impunity. 

Page was disgusted. Aware of the purpose of Marburg's visit 
and of House's mission, he sent Wilson, on January 3rd, 
clippings from the British press, criticizing the Administration 
without restraint. Commenting on the situation, he said: "Public 
opinion, both official and unofficial, is expressed by these 
newspaper comments, with far greater restraint than it is 
expressed in private conversation. Ridicule of the 
Administration runs through the programmes of the theatres; it 
inspires hundreds of cartoons; it is a staple of conversation at 
private dinners and in the clubs. The most serious of 
Englishmen, including the best friends of the United States, feel 
that the Administration's reliance on notes has reduced our 
Government to a third- or fourth-rate power. There is even talk 
of spheres of German influence in the United States, as in 
China. No Government could fall lower in English opinion than 
we shall fall if more notes are sent to Austria or to Germany. 
The only way to keep any shred of English respect, is (by) the 
immediate dismissal, without more parleying, of every German 
and Austrian official at Washington. Nobody here believes that 
such an act would provoke war. 

"I can do no real service by mincing matters. My previ-ous 
telegrams and letters have been purposely restrained, as this one 
is. We have now come to the parting of the ways. If English 
respect be worth preserving at all, it can 


be preserved only by immediate action. Any other course than 
immediate severing of diplomatic relations with both Germany 
and Austria, will deepen the English opinion into a conviction 
that the Administration was insincere when it sent the Lusitania 
notes, and that its notes and protests need not be taken seriously 
on any subject. And English opinion is allied opinion. The 
Italian Ambassador said to me, 'What has happened? The 
United States of today is not the United States I knew fifteen 
years ago, when I lived in Washington.' French officers and 
members of the Government who come here, express 
themselves even more strongly than do the British. The British 
newspapers today publish translations of ridicule of the United 
States from German papers." 

Two days later he wrote an even more unreservedly critical 
letter, which could hardly have failed to make Wilson wince. 
America had virtually been made "the laughing stock of the 
world." He declared that the dismissal of Dumba and the 
attaches, had had little more effect than that of the Turkish 
Ambassador. "It is merely kicking the dog of the man who has 
stolen our sheep." 

In thus chiding Wilson, Page had, apparently, thrown 
caution to the winds. Wilson, still not daring to remove him, 
simply continued to ignore his counsel. It was his own 
reelection that now engaged his attention. Marburg and House 
might attend to the rest. 

On January 5th, the National Committee met to make the 
final arrangements for the Convention. 

"After attending to our business," says McCombs, "we were 
informed that we were invited to the White House to luncheon 
the next day. Of the many luncheons I ever attended, this was 
the most curious. Many of the Committee did not desire to go — 
they told me so. I advised them it was proper under the 
circumstances to go, notwithstanding their individual feeling. 
And with this spirit I went. I never attended such a funereal 
function in my life. Every Committeeman seemed embarrassed 
and ill at ease. The meal was eaten almost in silence. I, of 
course, was put on the President's right, Homer S. Cummings 
on the left. We 


could pump no language out of the President. Therefore we 
turned to our neighbors. One Committeeman, seated at some 
distance, handed in a note behind the others to me with these 
words on it: 'This looks like the "Last Supper.'"" 

Apparently McCombs failed to sense the grim humor of this 
observation. Still believing in himself as a political factor, he 
was actually attending his own funeral! 

"When we had consumed the wines set before us, every- 
body was anxious to go. We had to comply when it was 
suggested that our picture be taken. So we went out behind the 
White House, where a member of the Committee said to me, 'I 
wonder if he wants our finger prints too!' After the picture was 
taken, everybody moved away from the White House and took 
a fresh breath of air." 138 

This very day House arrived in London. Ignoring Page, he 
conferred the following day with Grey. The ground had been 
thoroughly prepared by Marburg. 

"It was gratifying," House wrote, "to have Sir Edward meet 
me half way. He thought the Freedom of the Seas would 
accomplish for Great Britain what her predominant naval power 
does for her now, but it would be less costly, more effective, 
and would not irritate neutrals. If the Freedom of the Seas was 
agreed upon as an international policy, the nation breaking the 
agreement would have to reckon with every other nation. If the 
pact I have in mind was in force, and Germany had broken it, 
every subscribing nation would be aiding Great Britain in her 
effort to punish the offenders. On the other hand, if Great 
Britain had broken the pact, she would be the one facing united 
opposition. He was gratified to hear me express my belief that 
public opinion in the United States had advanced to a point 
where it was reasonably certain we would enter some world 
agreement having for its object the maintenance of peace, if a 
workable plan could be devised. I thought it far better for the 
democracies of the world to unite upon some plan which would 
enable the United States to intervene, than for us to drift into the 
war by breaking diplomatic 


relations with the Central Powers. He concurred in this view." 

With the arrangements for the Convention out of the way, 
Wilson had hastened to Cleveland where, in a stirring address 
on the night of the 6th, he fired his first shot against the 
Democratic insurgents. Emphasizing the need of national unity, 
he confessed the difficulty of determining the Nation's true 
sentiments. Speaking as the "champion of humanity," he had no 
doubt as to what was best for mankind. The welfare of the 
world demanded that the Nation arm itself. That, and not the 
surrender of American rights, was the best way to make 
neutrality possible. Moreover, the present opportunity to build 
up the merchant marine against the coming of peace, was one 
which might never come again! Therefore the Shipping Bill 
should be passed without further delay. 

Even though House had presented his credentials to Balfour 
and Grey, they insisted on a written statement from Wilson 
himself, before proceeding. 

"Colonel House to the President " (Telegram) 

"London, January 7, 1916. 

"Arrived yesterday. Have had conference with Grey and 
Balfour separately. The three of us will meet Monday to try to 
formulate some plan which I can submit to you, and which they 
can recommend to their colleagues. 

"Their minds run parallel with ours, but I doubt their col- 

"Grey is now in favor of the Freedom of the Seas, provided 
it includes the elimination of militarism, and further provided 
we will join in a general covenant to sustain it. 

"Your action concerning the Lusitania and the Persia will 
have a bearing on what can be done. Grey and Balfour under- 
stand, but their colleagues are doubtful as to your intentions 
regarding vigorous foreign policy. 

"It would help in the conference Monday if you could cable 
me some assurance of your willingness to cooperate in a policy 
seeking to bring about and maintain permanent peace. 

"Edward House." 


After sending this despatch, House invited Page to meet 
him at lunch. The American Ambassador, he wrote, "was full 
of the growing unpopularity of the President and the United 
States in Great Britain. He questioned whether the President 
would ever take decisive action concerning the Lusitania." 

Following this conference, House wrote the President: 

"London, January 7, 1916. 
"Dear Governor: — 

"... I was with Sir Edward for an hour and a half yesterday 
and dined with Balfour, and the three of us are to meet together 
Monday. When Sir Edward asked me what members of the 
Cabinet I wished to meet at lunch, I suggested that he have 
only Balfour, since we were the only three who speak your 

"I told him if we failed to come to a better understanding 
with England, and failed to help solve the problems brought 
about by this war properly, it would be because his 
Government and people could not follow you to the heights 
you would go. 

"Having Page's expression of their opinion in mind, I gave 
him what seemed to me to be the spirit of America. I asked him 
not to be misled by the motives which actuated New York, 
Chicago, and some of the commercial centres, but to accept my 
word that we were not a people driven mad by money. On the 
contrary, I thought that no nation in the world had such lofty 
ideals and would be so willing to make sacrifices for them. 

"I recalled the fact that our population was made up of 
idealists that had left Europe for a larger freedom, and this spirit 
was as strong now as it had been at any time in our existence. 

"I talked to him about our shipping troubles at some length, 
and urged him to make matters easier for you. He explained the 
difficulties he encountered, which he felt sure you did not fully 
realize. . . . 

"I touched lightly upon Spring-Rice, and sowed the seeds for 
a further discussion. 

"He admits that things have gone badly for the Allies, but 
declares that England was never more resolute than now, and 
that the outcome will be successful. I find all with whom I 


have talked so far, of the same opinion. Their confidence 
seems greater now than it did when I was here before. 

"Affectionately yours, 

"E. M. HOUSE." 

Wilson's reply was historic. He at once cabled H6use that he 
might convey to the British Government, the assurance that 
Wilson would be willing and glad to bring about and maintain 
permanent peace among the civilized nations, based upon an 
international covenant providing for general disarmament, and 
the "Freedom of the Seas." Thus did he confirm, in writing, his 
original understanding with Grey, and undertake to place the 
latter and Balfour in a position to go forward with their scheme. 

The Jackson Day Dinner — the greatest of annual Demo- 
cratic events — was held January 8th. Few of the Democrats 
who gathered there, suspected what was going on. Wilson, as 
the guest of honor, availed himself of the occasion to place 
squarely on the Democratic insurgents in Congress, the 
responsibility for the existing party friction, and to appeal to the 
patriotism of the party for support. 

"I have been bred in the Democratic party," he said, "but I 
love America a great deal more than I love the Democratic 
party, and when the Democratic party thinks it is an end in 
itself, I rise up and dissent." 

It was a clear warning to the insurgents. The position he 
took was exactly that of Jefferson, who declared he owed no 
loyalty to any party, above that due his country. And it is 
further evidence of Wilson's intention to transform the 
Democratic party, by bending it to his will. 

Undoubtedly, too, he had the patriotic appeals of Wood in 
mind. The General had said little, until lately, about his 
candidacy. Early in January, however, John A. Stewart, a New 
York man of affairs who wielded a mysterious influence in the 
Republican temple, told Wood that he thought he could make 
him the Republican nominee. 

"That," answered Wood dryly, "seems to me a pretty large 

Stewart admitted this, but he was an optimist. What 


logic there was, moreover, in politics, the most illogical of arts, 
was in Wood's favor. He was widely known; he had a 
distinguished record; circumstances, moreover, had kept him, 
like Hughes, out of the bitter struggle of 1912; he was the father 
of the preparedness movement; he was, moreover, Roosevelt's 
close friend, and could, if nominated, count on Roosevelt's 

Wood was unquestionably stirred; but he recognized 
Roosevelt as the logical candidate, and insisted that, whatever 
Stewart undertook, he should under no circumstances do 
anything to interfere with Roosevelt's chances. 

Was Stewart speaking for Marburg? At any rate, Wilson 
must do his best in the West to convince the country that he, 
too, was an earnest exponent of "preparedness," and of 
defending the national rights. 

Immediately after the Jackson Day Dinner, Wilson 
launched forth on his western tour. Meantime Garrison had 
taken high offense at Wilson's representing the program he was 
advocating, as that of the War Department. Having gotten wind 
of this, the Republicans on the Military Affairs Committee of 
the House summoned both Wood and Scott to testify as to the 
needs of the country, in order to disclose the fact the military 
experts were not in sympathy with Wilson's plan. Their 
testimony follows: 

Gen. Scott: "What I favor now; that is, I believe all soldiers 
who have given this matter any thought, believe that there 
should be universal service. " 

Mr. Quinn: "What do you mean by universal service?" 

Gen. Scott: "I mean that every man of suitable age, should 
be available for training for the defense of his country." 

Mr. Quinn: "Do you mean that there should be compulsory 
military service?" 

Gen. Scott: "Yes." Mr. Quinn: "What age would you 
require for that?" 

Gen. Scott: "About from 18 to 21 years." 

Mr. Quinn: "General, is that not the idea, then, of the Gen- 
eral Staff and the War Department, in fact, to bring about what 
you call universal military service?" 


Gen. Scott: "Do you mean, has an effort been made to that 

Mr. Quinn: "No. Is not that the idea, the plan that you want 
to be brought about in time of Peace?" 

Gen. Scott: "I can only speak for myself." 

Mr. Quinn: "Yes; I understand, you can only speak for your- 

Gen. Scott: "I feel that the armies of all civilized countries 
of great size, or countries that are in danger of being invaded, 
have been obliged to come to that; and I see that while England 
stood out until now, she is coming to it now, although they are 
late about it." 

Mr. Quinn: "But England did not come to that until she was 
engaged in war, did she?" 

Gen. Scott: "She had much better have come to it before the 
war began." 

Mr. Quinn: "That is a matter of opinion, General. I am 
speaking of this country in time of peace. Do you favor com- 
pulsory military service in time of peace?" 

Gen. Scott: "Yes; at this moment." 

Scott's advocacy of compulsory military service was, of 
course, attributed to Wood who, while before the Committee, 
said: "There is no logical method of ducking, side-stepping, or 
dodging it. Whether they like it or not, men generally realize 
that the principle is sound. They realize that a man can not 
exercise the suffrage as a right, and assume that he has the 
privilege of deciding whether or not he is to render service in 
case of necessity." He quoted the President himself regarding a 
"citizenry trained to arms," and showed how such a citizenry 
might be trained, how alone it could be maintained. Even as it 
was the most efficient form of national defense, it was also, he 
pointed out, the most democratic. 

During the short time Harvey spent overseas, he saw enough 
to convince him of two things — that intervention by America on 
the side of the Entente Allies should come without further 
delay, and that Wilson and America were both in ill-repute 
among all the belligerents. Moreover he learned from Page the 
real purpose of House's mission; and what he found on his 
return late in January, only 


added to his convictions. Nobody could tell, he said bitterly, 
whether our Administration "was really awake, or was merely 
talking in its sleep." As for the President himself, he had 
"ceased to lead"; he had not only failed to safeguard American 
rights, but he no longer expressed the convictions in relation to 
the war, of representative Americans. 

Wilson's troubles were not to end with the revolt of the 
Bryanites, and the open opposition of the War Department. 
Having no more knowledge than Bryan of the President's real 
purposes, Lansing now created an issue which threatened to 
produce not only a quarrel with the Allies, but a domestic crisis 
involving Wilson's party leadership. 

Since the preceding Autumn, Lansing had been seeking for 
some answer to the German complaint that it was impossible 
for a submarine to conform with the laws of visit and search, in 
view of the ability of an armed merchant vessel to destroy the 
submarine when it appeared. He finally decided that it was 
wisest to abandon the rule permitting the arming of merchant 
vessels. Without considering what this would mean to the 
Allies, but seeing in it a tremendous advantage for himself, the 
President allowed Lansing to address, on January 18, 1916, an 
informal note to the British and French Ambassadors, 
suggesting that all merchantmen be disarmed in consideration 
of Germany's promise that they would then not be attacked 
without warning. 

One may readily imagine the effect of such a proposal upon 
the Allies. It came like the explosion of a bombshell, in the 
midst of the secret negotiations which Marburg and House were 
carrying on in London. How on earth, in the face of such a 
proposal, could Wilson pretend friendliness to belligerents 
whose vital commerce he wished to place at the mercy of an 
illegal submarine blockade? Was he work-ing secretly with the 
Wilhelmstrasse, just as he was with Grey and Balfour? Were 
any of these Americans to be trusted? Was it not obvious, after 
all, that Wilson had no real interest in the principles involved in 
the conflict, and that his sole purpose from the first had merely 
been to make 


use of British support, essential to the success of his own selfish 
schemes? How could Britain and France seriously contemplate 
entering into a league of nations, which it was Wilson's plain 
purpose to dominate? 

Having championed Wilson against those in the Entente 
Governments who had never trusted his motives, Grey found 
himself on the defensive. Like Marburg, he foresaw the charges 
that would certainly be brought against the British Government, 
when this last American note became public. The whole scheme 
of a league of nations, which had, from the first, depended upon 
an understanding between the British and American 
governments, was likely to come to an abrupt end. In 
anticipation of a public uproar in Britain and France, Grey 
appeared, on January 26, 1916, before the House of Commons, 
to assure the Allies that the British Government contemplated 
no such surrender of principle as suggested by Wilson. 

On August 26, 1915, he had said publicly: "If there are to be 
guaranties against future war, let them be equal, com- 
prehensive, and effective guaranties that bind Germany as well 
as other nations, including ourselves." Now he declared: "But 
the great object to be attained — and, until it is attained, the War 
must proceed — is that there shall not again be this sort of 
militarism in Europe, which, in time of peace, causes the whole 
of the Continent discomfort by its continual menace, and then, 
when it thinks the moment has come that suits itself, plunges 
the Continent into war." 

Closely cooperating with Grey, Wilson said in a speech at 
Des Moines, on February 1, 1916: "I pray God that if this 
contest have no other result, it will at least have the result of 
creating an international tribunal, and producing some sort of 
joint guarantee of peace on the part of the great Nations of the 

But if these statements by Grey and Wilson served to 
satisfy the League to Enforce Peace, they did not appease 
public opinion in England and France. When the last American 
note came to light, the Entente press as well as the anti- 
Administration newspapers in America, fulminated 


against Wilson's alleged "outrageous surrender to Germany." 
"Secretary Lansing to Colonel House " (Telegram) 
"Washington, February 3, 1916. 

"... Page cables that Grey is seriously disturbed over pro- 
posal, as he claims it is wholly in favor of the Central Powers 
and against Allies. 

"Page fears that this proposal will be considered a German 
victory, and that all our influence with the Allies will be lost. 

"I feel strongly that the proposal is fair, and the only humane 
solution of submarine warfare. If merchant vessels are armed 
and guns are used to sink attacking submarines, as has been 
done and as merchant vessels are now instructed to do, then it is 
unreasonable to insist that submarines should risk coming to the 
surface to give warning. 

"I feel that the alleged refusal to consider the proposal 
calmly, will strengthen Germany's position. This proposal has 
no relation to the Lusitania settlement, and has not been men- 
tioned to Germany, but is made necessary by conditions in 
Mediterranean, as merchant vessels are arriving here carrying 
guns. I feel we are asking too much of Germany in the case... 10 


Fully advised of House's presence in London, the Wil- 
helmstrasse was quick to take advantage of the situation to 
widen the rift between Britain and America, and thereby defeat 
all possibility of a union between the latter and Germany's 
enemies. Thus it announced, on February 10th, that after the 
29th, armed merchant vessels would be dealt with as warships. 

Wilson saw, all too late, the terrible mistake into which he 
had been led by the guileless Lansing; nor did he feel the 
slightest obligation to stand by the Secretary of State. Advised 
by Page of the effect of his blunder on British public opinion, 
and by House that it had rendered the British cabinet helpless 
with respect to Marburg's program, he did not hesitate; but 
publicly repudiated the proposal, as merely a tentative 
suggestion of the Secretary of State. At the same time, he 
declared merchantmen had the legal right to arm. 


and defend themselves, if attacked by submarines. He thus 
discredited Lansing, and convicted himself of assent to an 
unwarranted and unwise proposal. 

It is true that Wilson was responsible for his aides who, 
having no idea what was in his mind, were bound to sub-ject 
him to a continuous series of political embarrassments. The 
fact remains that the strain on him of these mistakes, was none 
the less severe. It is astonishing that he was able to stand up 
under it so long. 

Wilson's appeal for "preparedness" deepened in eloquence 
as he moved westward, and his demands for party unity became 
more and more emphatic, as he became convinced that 
ignorance of the country's needs alone, motivated his 
opponents. "With extraordinary adroitness," says Hagedorn, 
"he satisfied the people who were against Germany, by talking 
of an enlarged army, and pleased those who were against 
England, by demanding 'incomparably the greatest navy in the 

While Wilson was engaged in this rhetorical legerder-main, 
he learned with amazement of what had taken place before 
Congress. In leaguing himself with Wood, Garrison, as Wilson 
saw it, had been guilty of no less than treachery. 

Wilson had no idea of countenancing compulsory military 
service. At the same time, the National Guard bitterly opposed 
his own program, which called for the creation of a citizens 
reserve; this through a lobby headed by the Hon. John Hay, 
Chairman of the Military Affairs Committee of the House. The 
upshot was that, upon Wilson's return from his tour of the West 
which he deemed "a triumph," a compromise was effected, 
resulting in the introduction of the "Hay Bill," which had the 
approval of neither Garrison nor the General Staff. It provided 
for, first, a Regular Army to reach a strength of 180,000 in 1920 
by five annual increments; second, an enlisted reserve which 
was to exist in time of peace, but only on paper; third, a 
National Guard of 17,000 officers and 440,000 men; and fourth, 
a Volunteer Army to be raised only in time of war, in such 
numbers as Congress should authorize. Thus 


the bill provided for a paper increase only. Nevertheless, the 
proponents of real preparedness had been thoroughly outwitted. 
They were left bewildered and sputtering. "As a political 
maneuver at the beginning of a presidential year," says 
Hagedorn, "it was immense." 

Their correspondence does not disclose exactly what 
occurred between Wilson and Garrison, when the former 
returned from the West. The scene was, no doubt, a stormy one. 
Unlike Lansing, Garrison was not an adviser to accept orders 
contrary to his convictions. "I never could obey orders in 
matters of opinion," he declared in a public interview. "I wasn't 
obstinate, but a task was odious, and a command made me an 
outlaw at once." Having controlled for over a year, his 
indignation over the defeat of his untiring efforts to build up the 
National defense upon a sound basis, he tendered his 
resignation on February 10th, 1916. 

"It is evident," he wrote the President, "that we hopelessly 
disagree upon what I conceive to be fundamental principles. 
This makes manifest the impropriety of my longer remaining 
your seeming representative with respect to these matters." 

Thus the far abler Garrison went the way of Bryan, though 
for different reasons. Within the Administration he was looked 
upon as more or less of a "sore-head." Even Houston did not 
hold him blameless for what he deemed "over-insistence" on 
Garrison's part. 

Wilson had not liked Scott's testimony before Congress, in 
direct opposition to his own military proposals. Yet he did not 
hold the old soldier to blame for his adherence to Wood's 
progressive ideas. When Scott tendered the customary 
resignation, after Garrison's departure, he received the 
following letter. 


"February 14, 1916. 
"My dear General Scott: — 

"I am sincerely obliged to you for your letter of the eleventh, 
because I know that it was prompted by a desire to relieve me 
of all embarrassment; but let me assure you that it is my sincere 


desire that you should retain your present position and duties "I 
did think it regrettable that in the testimony given before the 
Committee of the House of Representatives on Military Affairs, 
your own opinion and the opinion of others in favor of 
compulsory military training should have been made to seem 
part of the judgment of the Department of War in favor of a 
"continental" reserve; but I fully recognized the fact that you 
were merely giving your frank professional opinion, and that it 
was your undoubted right to do so when questioned by a 
committee of the Congress. I meant no personal censure in what 
I said in my recent letter to Mr. Garrison, and you may rest 
assured that you continue to enjoy, as you have always enjoyed, 
my trustful confidence. I am glad to be associated with you in 
your present capacity as Acting Secretary of War. "Cordially 
and sincerely yours, 

" Woodrow Wilson. " 

Pending the appointment of a new Secretary of War, the 
Chief of Staff as Acting Secretary, was invited by Wilson to sit 
with the Cabinet, a departure from precedent, as herewith 


"FEBRUARY 28, 1916. 

"My dear General Scott: — 

"Thank you very warmly for your full letter of February 
twenty-fourth about Captain M. E. Sliney of the Philippine 
Scouts. I entirely approve of the course you propose taking, 
and think that it is in every way the right course. "Cordially and 
sincerely yours, 

"Woodrow Wilson." 

"P.S. I hope that you will feel inclined, while you are acting as 
Secretary of War, to attend the Cabinet meetings on Tuesdays 
and Fridays." 

Newton D. Baker, appointed to succeed Garrison, was, like 
Daniels, claimed by the pacifists. He understood that official 
studies and discussions of the war in Europe by the General 
Staff, were not desired by the President. The military were to 
confine their attention to the Mexican situa- 


tion, to avoid any impression that the Administration was 
contemplating participation in the European conflict. 

" 'I am going to look up to you as to my father,' he told me," 
says Scott. " 'I am going to do what you advise me, and if either 
of us have to leave this building, I am going first.' This put us 
on relations of confidence at once, which I am happy to say 
nothing ever occurred to alter." 191 

Upon resigning, Garrison advocated in the public journals, 
more comprehensive military measures than those proposed by 
the President; and effectually discredited the whole military 
program of the Administration.* 

If Wilson and Baker hoped to cajole or intimidate General 
Scott, they mistook their man. Once he had made up his mind, 
the old soldier was as tenacious as he was fearless. In the 
annual report which, as Chief of Staff, he presented to Baker, he 
discussed the whole question of national defense. After 
reviewing recent British experience, and pointing out the 
defective organization of both Regular Army and Militia, as 
well as the inadequacy of the pending Hay Bill, he wrote: 

"In my judgment, the country will never be prepared for 
defense, until we do as other great nations do that have large 
interests to guard, like Germany, Japan, and France, where 
everybody is ready and does perform military service in time of 
peace, as he would pay every other tax, and is willing to make 
sacrifices for the protection he gets and the country gets in 
return. The volunteer system in this country, in view of the 
highly organized, trained, and disciplined armies that our pos- 
sible opponents possess, should be relegated to the past. There 
is no reason why one woman's son should go out and defend or 
be trained to defend another woman and her son, who refuses to 
take training or give service. The only democratic method is for 
every man in his youth to become trained, in order that he may 
render efficient service if called upon in war. " 

He then went on to present the whole theory of universal 
compulsory military service.** At the instance of Wood, a 
popular history of the institution was prepared, 

* Century Magazine, March, 1916. 

**Annual Report, War Department, 1916, Vol. 1, p. 159. 


to show that it was the only fair system under which to marshal 
America's vast manpower.* Wood continued to urge the 
application of the same democratic principle to the mobilization 
of labor. By the Administration press he was charged with "out- 
Prussianing the Prussians. " 93 

In any future estimate of Woodrow Wilson as an executive, 
the historian cannot ignore the questions that here arise. What 
would have been the effect upon the Nation's fortunes, had he 
been wise enough to be guided by Wood and the General Staff 
at this time, instead of by the Honorable John Hay? Would 
there have been any draft riots in 1917? Would there have been 
a soldier's bonus after the war? And had the railway carriers 
now been mobilized as urged by Wood, would this have 
forestalled the strikes of 1916, and their bitter experiences 
under the hastily devised scheme of Federal control adopted in 

* The Call of the Republic, Wise, Dutton & Co. Upon this 
study the Provost Marshal General was later to base his Spirit of 
Selective Service, designed to popularize the "draft" to which 
Wilson eventually gave nis consent. 



Wilson Agrees Conditionally to Intervene on the Side of the 
Allies. The House-Grey Memorandum of February 22, 1916. 
House's Futile Visit to Germany and France. Returns to 
Washington. The Congressional Revolt Crushed. 

AFTER MARBURG and House had reached their under- 
demanding with the British Government, it was decided that 
House should make one more effort to induce the Kaiser to 
accept the principle of a league of nations, and to "put over" in 
Germany the idea of the "freedom of the seas." Therefore he 
again visited Berlin, only to find that the Wiihelmstrasse was 
fully informed of the Anglo-American scheme. 85 ' 103 In France, 
he could hardly obtain a respectful hearing. Returning to 
England on February 9, 1916, he reported to Grey the ill 
success of his efforts. The German Government was being 
pushed by the militarists and public opinion, toward the 
resumption of unrestrained submarine warfare. It would 
consider nothing but a "victor's peace." 

Marburg, Grey, and House now recognized a possible 
alternative. The United States might wait until the Germans 
withdrew their submarine promise, and enter the war upon the 
submarine issue, or the President might demand a peace 
conference and, if Germany refused the "reasonable" terms 
which would be offered, the United States would enter the war 
to enforce them. 

Of the two courses, the Internationalists preferred the latter. 
It would at least give Germany the opportunity to yield. If she 
did not embrace it, the entrance of the United States into the 
war could be based upon the clearest and highest of motives. 
America could say to the Allies in 


definite accents: "We have come to help in a war to end war. 
But when the victory is won, we shall insist that you join with 
us to make a peace of justice and security, and not of revenge or 
selfish profit. " 

Meantime Page's early belief that Marburg and House had 
in mind far more than a mere league of peace, had ripened into 
conviction. He saw with the utmost alarm, their attempted 
alliances with the Fabians and Socialists generally. This was 
what was behind their "democracy!" Socialism and 
International Finance were working hand in hand to 
democratize the world, and to break down militarism. This 
unholy alliance threatened to let loose forces which could not 
be controlled. With these ideas in mind, he held himself 
resolutely aloof from all further negotiations between House 
and the British Government, no doubt by agreement with 
Harvey who had, by this time, also discerned the nature of 
Wilson's Internationalism. 

House was furious, and strove to convince Wilson that Page 
was simply pig-headed in his opposition. 

"We dined at the Embassy," he wrote on February 10th, "in 
order that Page and I might have a quiet talk. My entire evening 
was spent in listening to his denunciation of the President and 
Lansing, and of the Administration in general. He thought the 
State Department should be 'cleaned out from top to bottom.' He 
humorously suggested that the Department should not remain in 
the same quarters, but should take a large tent, and place it on 
the green near the Washington Monument, in order to raze the 
present building to its foundations, and start afresh with new 
surroundings and a new force. 

"I did not argue with him. . . . 'The President has no policy. 
He has lost the respect of Great Britain and the world. Lansing 
insults every one with his notes, etc., etc.'" 103 

The following memorandum made by Page is significant: 

House told me that we'd have a meeting on Monday — As- 
quith, Grey, Reading, Lloyd George, he, and I, No, we won t. 


No member of the Government can afford to discuss any such 
subject; not one of them has any confidence in the strength of 
the President for action. 

Therefore, on Friday, 11 th of February, I told House that I 
couldn't go with him to any such conference, and I wouldn't. 

Page's opinion that the leading members of the British 
Government would not discuss House's scheme, proved to be 
without foundation. On February 14th, the conference was held 
as planned. House was hampered by Page's refusal to cooperate, 
for his attitude necessarily weakened faith in Wilson. Even so, 
they approved in principle of the American offer, though they 
refused to set a date for intervention. They still wished to try the 
fortunes of war against Germany, unhampered by any 
conditions as to the terms they might lay down in case of 
victory. On the other hand, they agreed that if, in the future, it 
became apparent that they could make no serious impression on 
the German lines, Wilson should demand a peace conference. 103 

At this juncture Page made still another effort to save 
Wilson. Writing on February 15th, he urged the immediate 
severence of diplomatic relations with the Central Allies, and an 
embargo on all shipments to them. This, he declared, would 
destroy Germany's credit, and end the war without entangling 
America. Wilson would make himself immortal. Even the 
German people in the end would thank him. 

The effort was vain. Grey has recorded what followed. 

"In February, 1916," he declares, "House drafted with me a 
memorandum to define as precisely as could be done in 
advance, the action that President Wilson would be prepared to 
take, and the terms of peace that he would use all the influence 
of his country to secure." 

Now the Allies were to reap the result of House's last visit to 
Berlin. Alarmed by the rising clamor of the Socialists in 
Germany to whom Wilson was appealing strongly, those in 
control of the German Government decided to make a great 
effort to deliver a knock-out blow to the French. This 
commenced with the great attack launched by them at Verdun 
on February 21, 1916. Thus the inter [429] 

meddling of the Internationalists in European affairs was again 
to be attended with the most direful consequences. The German 
diplomatic representatives in the United States and Mexico 
were concurrently directed to spare no effort to embroil the 
United States with Mexico, if at all possible. 

When the new German offensive was launched, there was 
no longer need for House to remain in England. It was with 
peculiar historic fitness, as he and Marburg saw it, that the 
memorandum of Wilson's purpose upon which Grey had 
insisted, was signed by the Super-Ambassador on Washington's 
birthday — February 22, 1916. No wonder Page was bitter. He 
did not fail to see what neither House nor Grey have recorded — 
that Wilson was, in effect, secretly bartering principle for 
assurance of support from the Entente Governments, and the 
League to Enforce Peace, in the coming election. To Page, the 
danger of stirring up the Socialists was obvious. As he saw it, 
there was far more than political expediency involved in 
Wilson's course. He deemed it positively dishonest for the 
President to conceal from the American people on the eve of the 
coming election, the fact that he had committed himself to 
something which he dared not submit to their approval. It was a 
type of so-called statesmanship which Page could not condone. 

The day that House signed the memorandum described, the 
Democratic insurgents made good their threat. Had Bernstorff 
informed Bryan and Stone of the Wilson-Grey agreement? At 
any rate, with true Jeffersonian inconsistency, Jeff McLemore, 
of Texas, introduced in the House on Washington's birthday, the 
resolution to which Wilson had refused assent. Champ Clark, 
the Speaker, called upon the President, at the head of a 
delegation of Democratic Congressmen, to notify him that the 
McLemore resolution, should it come to a vote, would be 
carried two to one. Three days later Gore, of Oklahoma, 
introduced a similar resolution in the Senate. So did the 
"Bryanites" lay down the gauge of battle to Wilson. 

How was he to handle this revolt? 

Having been advised by Page, House, and Gerard, that 


the division of opinion in Congress over his foreign policy was 
militating against him abroad, Wilson did not hesitate. He wrote 
Senator Stone as follows: 

"No group of nations has the right, while war is in progress, 
to alter or disregard the principles which all nations have agreed 
upon in mitigation of the horrors and sufferings of war, and if 
the clear rights of American citizens should very unhappily be 
abridged or denied by any such action, we should, it seems to 
me, have in honor no choice as to what our own course should 

"For my part, I cannot consent to any abridgment of the 
rights of American citizens in any respect. The honor and self- 
respect of the nation is involved. We covet peace, and shall 
preserve it at any cost but the loss of honor. . . . Once accept a 
single abatement of right, and many other humiliations would 
certainly follow, and the whole fine fabric of international law 
might crumble under our hands, piece by piece. What we are 
contending for in this matter, is of the very essence of the things 
that have made America a sovereign nation. She cannot yield 
them without conceding her own impotence as a nation, and 
making virtual surrender of her independent position among the 
nations of the world. ..." 

With what Josephus Daniels characterizes as "dramatic 
swiftness," he also addressed himself sharply to the Chairman 
of the Foreign Relations Committee of the House. 

He denounced as false, the report current in Congress of 
"industrious use" being made "in foreign capitals" of these 
"divided counsels." Yet he felt "justified," because of the harm 
it might do, in asking the committee to act promptly on the 
pending resolution. "The matter is of so grave importance and is 
so clearly within the field of executive initiative, that I venture 
to hope that your committee will not think that I am taking an 
unwarraned liberty in making this suggestion as to the business 
of the House; and I very earnestly commend it to their 
immediate consideration. " 

He thus ensured quick action on the important House 
resolution, knowing that, in the absence of serious discussion, 
he could depend on the party whips to defeat it. The 


utmost pressure was also brought to bear on Gore, though of 
what nature, does not appear. In any event, Gore substituted for 
his original resolution, a new one declaring that "the sinking by 
any submarine, without notice or warning, of an armed 
merchant vessel of her public enemy, re-sulting in the death of a 
citizen of the United States, would constitute a just and 
sufficient cause for war between the United States and the 
German Empire." 

From Gore's action in thus reversing himself, we may 
deduce that Wilson had convinced him of the country's 
imminent peril. With Gore detached from the revolt, the Senate, 
under Wilson's whip, tabled the Gore Resolution by a vote of 68 
to 14, Gore himself voting with the majority. 

Wilson had been playing a shrewder game than even the 
Democratic leaders realized. He had won the secret support of 
the Entente Governments, and had ended the attacks of the 
British and French press. Leaving Marburg in London, House 
sailed on February 25th from Falmouth. As the fruit of British 
propaganda, the press on both sides of the Atlantic applauded 
the skill with which he had explained the President's policy, and 
the political value of the resulting understanding. 

"Colonel House's visit to us, which has just come to an 
end," said the London Nation, "stands, we think, for a landmark 
in the war. No one has had anything like his chances of valuing 
the general factors which will decide the fate of Europe, now 
dreadfully in the balance. This is not a small function. Save for 
the conferences of the Allies, diplomacy has come to an end 
over the great field of Europe. Neither side knows what the 
other side thinks; and the more men strain the ear, the more 
loudly sounds the roar of the cannon. It is well, therefore, for 
the world to have at least one carrier of ideas and intelligence. 
Colonel House has impressed everybody with his sense, 
prudence, reserve, sincerity, power of estimating forces, and 
giving them their due weight in the balance of affairs. " 

"No Englishman knows of Germany as Colonel House 


knows," said an American paper. "No German has had Colonel 
House's opportunity for weighing public opinion and the 
possibilities of the future in England and France. He has gone 
his way, heard all the stories of all sides, and has kept his own 
counsel. He has absorbed, but has given out nothing, and will 
reach home without having made an enemy, spoken an 
imprudent word, or raised a suspicion." 

Even the anti-Wilson papers in New York, were compelled 
to print the laudatory articles of their British correspondents. 

"House managed to be both elusive and significant," said an 
article in the Tribune, "and this without departing from his 
ordinary manner. He saw everything and heard everything, 
while showing himself a notable master in the gentle art of 
saying as little as possible. His glance showed that his silence 
covered a good deal of humor. He succeeded so well in the 
difficult task of being both taciturn and agreeable, that he was 
even popular with the newspaper reporters when he told them 
nothing. Clearly one of the shrewdest of men. " 

In London, the Observer suggested that Grey should follow 
Wilson's example, and "send some sufficiently distinguished 
and authoritative statesman upon a special mission to the 
American Government and the American people. That mission 
would imply no reflection on other persons and previous 
methods. It would recognize that the situation cannot be 
adequately dealt with by professional diplomacy, no matter how 
assiduous and accomplished in its sphere. . . . Colonel House 
will have a remarkable report to make to President Wilson, and 
we hold a strong opinion that this country ought to enjoy a 
similar advantage. " 

Gerard wrote, later, from Berlin that the German Gov- 
ernment was considering sending over some "Colonel House" 
of their own. 

House arrived in Washington on March 6th, and made his 
report to the President. Garvin had cabled the New York 


"When House has his first long walk alone with President 
Wilson, the walls in Washington, if walls had ears, would have 
a very exceptional privilege. The preliminaries of that con- 
versation are locked in the safe deposit of Colonel House's own 
breast. I will not attempt to guess at them." 

As a matter of fact, the conference took place in the open 
air. "After lunch," wrote House, "the President, Mrs. Wilson, 
and I took an automobile ride of something over two hours. 
During this time, I outlined every important detail of my 
mission. The President, on our return, dropped me at the State 
Department, and I had an interview of an hour with Lansing, 
giving him a summary of what I had told the President. 

"I returned to the White House, and the President and I 
went into session again until nearly seven o'clock.' I showed 
him the memorandum which Sir Edward Grey and I had agreed 
was the substance of my understanding with France and Great 
Britain. The President accepted it in toto, only suggesting that 
the word 'probably' be inserted in the ninth line after the word 
'would,' and before the word leave.' He also suggested that 
tomorrow we write out the full text of the reply which I shall 
send Grey. ..." 

Immediately after House's report, the party leaders and 
whips were assembled by the President. The McLemore 
Resolution was called up on March 7th. Debate was shut off, 
and the resolution defeated by a vote of 275 to 135. The fact 
that 102 Republicans and only 33 Democrats voted to kill the 
resolution, does not, of course, imply that the Republicans 
wished to abandon American rights. They were simply 
endeavoring to embarrass the President with his own party. 

The result was taken as a great victory for Wilson. He was 
again heralded by the dominant group of his supporters, as the 
champion of "strict accountability." 

The next day — March 8th — Wilson typed with his own 
hands the following cable to Grey, to which he signed House's 
name for obvious reasons, confirming the memo-randum of 
February 22, 1916: 


" (Telegram) 

"New York, March 8, 1916. "I 
reported to the President the general conclusions of our 
conference of the 14th of February, and in the light of those 
conclusions, he authorizes me to say that, so far as he can speak 
for the future action of the United States, he agrees to the 
memorandum with which you furnished me, with only this cor- 
rection: that the word "probably" be added after the word 
"would" and before the word "leave" in line number nine. 
"Please acknowledge receipt of this cable. 

"E. M. HOUSE." 103 

The memorandum has been quoted by both Grey and House 
as follows: 


"Colonel House told me that President Wilson was ready, on 
hearing from France and England that the moment was oppor- 
tune, to propose that a Conference should be summoned to put 
an end to the war. Should the Allies accept this proposal, and 
should Germany refuse it, the United States would probably 
enter war against Germany. 

"Colonel House expressed the opinion that, if such a Confer- 
ence met, it would secure peace on terms not unfavorable to the 
Allies; and, if it failed to secure peace, the United States would 
leave the Conference as a belligerent on the side of the Allies, if 
Germany was unreasonable. Colonel House expressed an 
opinion decidedly favorable to the restoration of Belgium, the 
transfer of Alsace and Lorraine to France, and the acquisition 
by Russia of an outlet to the sea, though he thought that the loss 
of territory incurred by Germany in one place would have to be 
compensated to her by concessions to her in other places 
outside Europe. If the Allies delayed accepting the offer of 
President Wilson, and if, later on, the course of the war was so 
unfavorable to them that the intervention of the United States 
would not be effective, the United States would probably disin- 
terest themselves in Europe, and look to their own protection in 
their own way. 

"I said that I felt the statement, coming from the President of 
the United States, to be a matter of such importance that I must 
inform the Prime Minister and my colleagues; but that I could 
say nothing until it had received their consideration. The British 
Government could, under no circumstances, accept 


or make any proposal, except in consultation and agreement 
with the Allies. I thought that the Cabinet would probably feel 
that the present situation would not justify them in approaching 
their Allies on this subject at the present moment; but, as 
Colonel House had had an intimate conversation with M. 
Briand and M. Jules Cambon in Paris, I should think it right to 
tell M. Briand privately, through the French Ambassador in 
London, what Colonel House had said to us; and I should, of 
course, whenever there was an opportunity, be ready to talk the 
matter over with M. Briand, if he desired it. 

" (Initialed) E. G." 

On its face, this was a mere memorandum. Taken along 
with the negotiations and understandings leading up to it, it was 
no less than an agreement. It was plainly designed to express 
the obligation which the preceding express statements of 
Wilson had imposed upon him, and to place written evidence of 
it, in the hands of Grey. 

Wilson was, at this time, being attacked for his supreme 
indifference to the cause of justice and humanity. Never had 
Roosevelt been more outspoken. It was with "weasel words," he 
declared, that Wilson had misled the Nation into allowing the 
Allies to save civilization from the "barbarous Huns," while 
keeping the United States from doing its part. Public opinion in 
Britain and France was openly contemptuous. In carefully 
written communications to the Secretary of State, Page 
continued to epitomize the gist of British opinion, taking as his 
text the cruel gibes that were poked at the President on the 
music-hall stage, and the humor of the trenches, which 
christened the unexploded dud a "Wilson!" He spoke eloquently 
of the moderate opinion of the average Briton. 

"The British have concluded that our Government does not 
understand the moral meaning of their struggle against a de- 
structive military autocracy . . . They doubt our appreciation of 
the necessity of English-speaking sympathy, our national unity, 
our national aims, our national virility. They doubt whether we 
keep our old vision of the necessary supremacy of democracy 
as the only safeguard against predatory absolutism. They have 
not expected us to abandon neutrality. But since 


they are fighting for the preservation of free government, they 
are disappointed that our Government seems to them to make 
no moral distinction between them and the enemies of free 
government. They feel that the moral judgment of practically 
the whole civilized world is on their side, except only the Gov- 
ernment of the United States. They wonder whether our Gov- 
ernment will show, in the future, a trustworthy character in 
world affairs." 

To all this, Wilson could not, of course, reply. He could not 
even make an attempt at self-justification, knowing, as he did, 
that to disclose what he had done, would almost certainly 
encompass his defeat in the coming election. 



Lane Organizes the Department of the Interior Behind 
Wilson. Marburg's Success Alarms von Tirpitz and his 
Party. Villa and Pershing. The Destruction of the "Sussex." 
House and Grey Demand Action. Wilson Between Two 
Fires. The Influence of Wood's Presidential Boom. Wilson 
Notifies Grey of his Intention to Intervene. Marburg 
Prevents Intervention. 

FRANKLIN LANE is shown by his own letters 114 to have been 
one of the shrewdest politicians, and ablest members of 
Wilson's Cabinet. He now undertook to make use, on 
Wilson's behalf, of the great army of Federal employees, and of 
party patronage, to an extent never before attempted. 

Among the Western States, the influence of the Department 
of the Interior was especially potent. An analysis of recent 
presidential elections, showed that a small number could decide 
the electoral vote of half a score of States. If the great army at 
Lane's command were highly organized behind Wilson, the 
result would be astonishing. Lane set about the task with a vim, 
early in the Spring, without consulting the party Chairman. 

Meantime Marburg had remained in England to aid Grey in 
building up popular approval of the Internationalist program. 
He had already published, in The Nation, an article advocating 
the formation of a League of Nations, which had attracted 
attention throughout the world, and had, besides, addressed 
numerous groups on the subject. The Fabians were now active 
in his support, so that appeals by the Militarists to the patriotism 
of the Pan-German Socialists were becoming less and less 
effective. It seemed 


certain they would not respond much longer, especially in 
Austria and Hungary. The Turks were known to like the British 
and French far more than the Germans. 155 ' 221 

Von Tirpitz and his party were thoroughly alarmed. 
Something had to be done to counteract the Wilson propaganda 
among the Pan-Germans. 109 

Such was the situation when, on March 9, 1916, Pancho 
Villa, at the head of a force of fifteen hundred so-called bandits, 
crossed the border and attacked the town of Columbus, New 
Mexico. After killing eleven civilians and nine soldiers, and 
wounding many others, he looted the place, and burned a 
number of buildings. Although the 13th Cavalry pursued the 
raiders and killed forty of them, public opinion did not propose 
to let Villa himself go unpunished. A punitive force must be 
sent in pursuit! 

According to those best qualified to judge, the recognition 
of Carranza had proved a mistake. "It had the effect," says 
General Scott, "of solidifying the power of the man, who had 
rewarded us with kicks on every occasion." 

The day after the looting of Columbus, Baker went from a 
meeting of the Cabinet to the office of the Chief of Staff, to 
whom he said: "I want you to start an expedition into Mexico to 
catch Villa." Apparently Baker, like Bryan and Daniels, did not 
understand that the sending of an armed force into a neighbor's 
territory, was an act of war. Pacifists all, they seemed to believe 
they could do anything they wanted to, as long as it was not 
labeled "war." 

"Mr. Secretary, do you want the United States to make war 
on one man?" Scott asked Baker. "Suppose he should get on the 
train and go to Guatemala, Yucatan, or South America; are you 
going to go after him?" 

He said, "Well, no, I am not." 

"That is not what you want then. You want his band 
captured or destroyed," I suggested. 

"Yes," he said, "that is what I really want." The following 
code telegram was then sent, with his approval, to General 
Funston at San Antonio, without mention of the capture of 
Villa himself. 




"Washington, March 10, 1916. "(Translation) 
"Commanding General, Southern Department, 
"Fort Sam Houston, Texas. "Number 833. "You will promptly 
organize an adequate military force of troops from your 
department, under the command of Brigadier-General John J. 
Pershing, and will direct him to proceed promptly across the 
border in pursuit of the Mexican band which attacked the town 
of Columbus, New Mexico, and the troops there, on the 
morning of the ninth instant. Those troops will be withdrawn to 
American territory as soon as the de facto government of 
Mexico is able to relieve them of this work. In any event, the 
work of these troops will be regarded as finished, as soon as 
Villa's band or bands are known to be broken up. In carrying 
out these instructions, you are authorized to employ whatever 
guides and interpreters are necessary, and you are given general 
authority to employ such transportation, including motor 
transportation, with necessary civilian personnel, as may be 
required. The President desires his following instructions to be 
carefully adhered to, and to be strictly confidential. You will 
instruct the commanders of your troops on the border opposite 
the states of Chihuahua and Sonora, or, roughly, within the field 
of possible de facto government, that they are authorized to use 
the same tactics of defense and pursuit, in the event of similar 
raids across the border and into the United States, by a band or 
bands such as attacked Columbus, New Mexico, yesterday. You 
are instructed to make all practicable use of the aeroplanes at 
San Antonio, Texas, for observation. Telegraph for whatever 
reinforcements or material you need. Notify this office as to 
force selected, and expedite movement." 

Fate thus played against Roosevelt and Wood, in denying 
them the great opportunity for which they longed, to serve their 
country, and favored another. 

"As General Pershing was at El Paso near by, the troops for 
the pursuit were being taken from his command, and I 
recommended that he be the one to go in charge of the punitive 
expedition, which Secretary Baker approved, and 


the force was then launched in pursuit. Secretary Lansing 
returned from the same Cabinet meeting, and was met by the 
press correspondents, searching for news. He told them, 'We are 
sending an expedition into Mexico to catch 
Villa.' " M 

Henceforth the name of "Black Jack" Pershing was to be on 
every American tongue. The press represented him as a super- 
man; and a good soldier he proved himself to be. 

The attitude of the Cabinet at this time is well expressed by 
Lane. "I hope," he wrote the President, on March 13th, 1916, 
"that you may find your way made less difficult than now 
appears possible, as to entering Mexico. My judgment is that to 
fail in getting Villa, would ruin us in the eyes of all Latin- 
Americans. I do not say that they respect only force, but, like 
children, they pile insult upon insult, if they are not stopped 
when the first insult is given." 114 

Wilson had, now, no more idea of admitting that the country 
was at war with Mexico, than when he caused Vera Cruz to be 
seized. Administration propaganda represented that, since the 
Carranza Government was powerless to prevent further 
marauding expeditions, beyond what had already occurred, 
there was ample precedent for the sending of a punitive 
expedition into Mexico as an act short of war. It was, in 
substance, but a repetition of Jackson's invasion of Florida to 
punish the Seminoles. In order not to offend the Carranzistas, 
no towns were to be occupied by Pershing, nor was a clash with 
the Mexican Federal forces to be brought on, short of the 
absolute necessity of self-defense. Villa was to be vigorously 
pursued, until public opinion had been satisfied. 

Pershing proceeded into the wastes of the desert from 
Columbus, at the head of a column consisting of two regiments 
of infantry, two of cavalry, a battery of horse artillery, an aero 
squadron, and the necessary auxiliaries. A flanking column of 
two regiments of cavalry and a horse battery, moved with equal 
speed further West. 

Since March 9th, a number of British and French vessels 
had been destroyed, under circumstances which indi- 


cated the inability of the German Chancellor to control the 
Navy, while to Marburg and Grey, it seemed certain, from the 
information in their hands, that Villa was in the employ of 

i~i 244 


The very day that Villa made his raid, von Tirpitz took 
decisive action, calculated to compel a choice between the 
Naval Party, and the restraining counsels of Bernstorff. 
Declaring that the Imperial Government had only been 
"nibbling" at the problem confronting it, that it must face the 
facts or bring certain defeat upon Germany, he requested to be 
relieved. 222 

Fully informed of this at once, a conference between 
Marburg and Grey showed them in complete accord. According 
to Marburg, the British Foreign Secretary expressed the view 
"that if some such plan" as Marburg's, "had been in operation 
when the present war threatened, Germany would have been 
forced to accept the offer of a conference, and the war would 
not have been possible." He added that he would even go 
further than Marburg's program — he would enforce an arbitral 
judgment or award, if the people would stand for it. He felt, like 
Taft, that nations should be willing to face the possibility of an 
occasional adverse decision, and to submit all questions to 
arbitration or judicial decision.* 142 

The result of von Tirpitz' action was as he anticipated. The 
German Navy had no idea of abandoning his program, and, to 
force the hand of the wavering Chancellor, the British unarmed 
channel ferry Sussex, was destroyed without warning on March 
24th. About eighty noncom-batant passengers of all ages and 
sexes were killed or wounded. 

Von Tirpitz saw, in this bold act, what he deemed the crisis 
of the war. Bernstorff, however, appears to have been mystified 
as to its significance. Several days elapsed without a word from 
him. 103 House, however, had no doubt of the import of this new 
outrage. He believed that the plan agreed upon in the 
memorandum of February 22nd, under 

* League of Nations, Marburg, p. 99. 


which Wilson was first to offer mediation, and then propose a 
league of nations, had become impractical, and that 
intervention on the side of the Entente was necessary to prevent 
German victory. 

It was late on the 28th when he reached the White House in 
response to a summons from Wilson. He had heard nothing as 
yet from Marburg or Grey. Lansing, who was now bellicose, 
had already written Wilson a letter urging immediate severance 
of diplomatic relations with Germany. Referring to his 
conference with Wilson, House wrote: "We had only a few 
minutes before dinner, and agreed to postpone more detailed 
discussion of affairs until tomorrow. We talked enough, 
however, for me to fathom what was in his mind; and from the 
way he looked at me, I am inclined to believe that he intends 
making excuses for not acting promptly in this new submarine 
crisis forced upon him by the sinking of the Sussex ... He does 
not seem to realize that one of the main points of criticism 
against him is that he talks boldly, but acts weakly." 

In this criticism Lansing agreed. Neither he nor House 
seemed to understand that Wilson was awaiting advices from 
overseas, and depending, not on them, but on the master mind 
of Marburg. 

By this time eight vessels, each with Americans aboard, had 
been attacked, and both the American and Entente press were 
reflecting a tremendous popular demand for American action. 

In the memorandum of February 22, 1916, Grey had 
expressly declared that no action looking to peace, except in 
accord with Britain's allies, would be taken by the As-quith 
Government. As yet, however, France, Russia, and Italy had 
not been committed to the principle of a league of nations, 
based upon a general disarmament pact. Marburg felt that 
Wilson was, as yet, in no position to seek popular sanction of 
the peace proposals which both had had in mind. Before he 
could successfully commit the United States to 
Internationalism, in association with other governments, he 
must be in a position to prove that such action would ensure a 
sound and enduring peace. The 


United States could never unite with a Russia controlled by 
Rasputin and the reactionaries. The Jews alone could probably 
prevent this, just as they had compelled the abrogation by 
Congress of the old Russian Commercial Treaty in 1912. 

Marburg was, further, still convinced, as Wilson and House 
had been, that any action by the United States, leading to the 
overthrow of the Pan-German militarists, would, at this time, 
but substitute the menace of the reactionary Czarist government 
for that of the Prussian Junkers, a victory quite unpalatable to 
the Internationalists. 

These were the considerations which undoubtedly dictated 
Marburg's advice to Wilson, and caused the latter to direct 
House, on the 30th, to seek out Bernstorff. To the "Silent 
Partner's" utter amazement, he was now told to extract from the 
German Government, if possible, a new promise that would 
satisfy American public opinion. While this was being done, 
Marburg put the utmost pressure on Grey to commit the Allied 
Governments to the principle of a disarmament pact, so that 
Wilson might go ahead with the general plan. 

Unaware of what was going on behind the scenes, more and 
more prominent Democrats began to protest against Wilson's 
apparent inaction. Even the New York Times had reached the 
limit of trying to defend Wilson's foreign policy, while the 
Republicans were confident of being able to encompass his 
defeat, if they could get together. Two of them did — Root, the 
Internationalist, and Roosevelt, the Nationalist! Did it mean 
that Carnegie and Root, despairing of international peace, now 
proposed to save their country first? In any event, they had 
finally abandoned Butler, Taft, and Marburg, and persuaded 
even Lodge, former advocate of a league of nations, to join 
them. It looked as if "The Cowboy President" might re-enter 
the White House; but no such idea occurred to Root and Lodge, 
who knew that Butler, Taft, Marburg and other 
Internationalists, as well as scores of old-time Republicans, 
could never be persuaded to support Roosevelt. 


In Wood's diary, appears, under date of March 31st, the 
following entry: 

"Lunch with Robert Bacon, Roosevelt, Root, Lodge and I. 
First meeting for years. All passed off well. Roosevelt and Root 
seemed to be glad to be together again, really so. Roosevelt 
cussed out Wilson, as did Root and Lodge. Opinion that the 
country was never so low in standing before. Much talk about 
Mexico, what they would have done had they been in power. . . 
. Roosevelt said to me, in the presence of Root, that he would be 
for me in case things went right; a quiet way of letting what he 
would do, be known. Were there about three hours." 

From this it seems certain that Roosevelt was planning to 
force a compromise between the two wings of the Republican 
party, with Root's aid, and throw the Presidency to Wood, as the 
advocate of national defense and armed intervention. 

The meeting created a sensation. The reconciliation of 
Roosevelt with Root, who had been responsible, more than any 
other man, for his failure to secure the Republican nomination 
in 1912, completely altered the political situation. 
Foreshadowing the reunion of the Progressives and 
Republicans, it instantly placed Roosevelt, in the public mind, 
in the forefront of contenders for the Republican nomination. 

Wood's presence at this meeting, not unnaturally angered 
the Administration. "I told you so," said one Democrat to 
another. Official Washington was "amazed." Many Democrats 
had long suspected that the training camps were merely a blind 
for the organization behind Wood, of the young men of the 
country. Now the cat was out of the bag! If there had ever been 
"pernicious political activity, here it was," they declared. "The 
commanding officer of the great Department of the East is 
making an eyesore of military discipline. " 

House saw Bernstorff as directed, but, apparently still 
uninformed of Wilson's purpose, was not enthusiastic over his 
mission. Good politics, he believed, demanded forceful action 
in the face of the Republican designs. On April 2nd 


he wrote: "The President's penchant for inaction makes him 
hesitate to take the plunge. . . . His immediate entourage, from 
the Secretary of State down, are having an unhappy time just 
now. He is consulting none of them and they are ignorant of his 
intention as the man on the street. I believe he will follow the 
advice I give him . . . but even to me he has not expressed his 
intentions. This, however, is not unusual, as he seldom or never 
says what he will do. I merely know from past experience. ..." 

Convinced that nothing would come of Bernstorff s efforts, 
House returned to New York, still of the opinion, as shown by 
his letters to Wilson, that diplomatic relations ought to be 
severed at once; but events compelled a speedy return to 
Washington. Marburg had devised, perhaps in concert with 
Grey, a clever scheme to force action by the Entente 
Governments in favor of Wilson's proposals. They were to be 
told that they must choose between the prolongation of the war 
by the entrance of America into the conflict without any 
obligation to them, and the acceptance of the principle of a 
league of nations based on a general disarmament pact! They 
could not fail to see that if they chose the former course, 
America would proceed, as indicated by Wilson in the 
memorandum of February 22nd, to take care of herself. With 
their vital supply of munitions thus cut off, their defeat by 
Germany would be almost certain. Accordingly Wilson himself 
despatched, on April 6th, the following message to Grey: 

"Since it seems probable that this country must break with 
Germany on the submarine question unless the unexpected 
happens, and since, if this country should once become a bel- 
ligerent, the war would undoubtedly be prolonged, I beg to 
suggest that if you had any thought of acting at an early date on 
the plan we agreed upon, you do so." 

Believing that if Wood were taken into the Administration's 
confidence as to the reason for its apparent inaction, the danger 
of the Republicans in Congress compelling a severance of 
diplomatic relations would be avoided, House urged the "full 
use" of Wood, pending action by the 


Entente Governments. Baker also deemed it wise to call upon 
the Republicans for aid at this time. "Putting them forward" in 
the matter of national defense, would undoubtedly help to 
convince the country as well as the Germans that Wilson was 
preparing to take definite and final action. 

Conscious that he was no longer dictating Wilson's course, 
House became more and more impatient as the days passed with 
no word from Grey. 

"What I should like," he wrote on the 11th, "is for Wilson to 
go before Congress after the break is made, and deliver a 
philippic against Germany — not, indeed, against the German 
people, but against the cult that has made this calamity possible. 
No one as yet has brought the indictment of civilization against 
them as strongly as it might be done, and I would like the 
President to do this in a masterly way. " 

Eventually, Grey succeeded in winning the British and 
French Governments over to Marburg's ideas. Agreeing that it 
would be unwise for America to plunge into the war before 
being committed in the impending presidential campaign to a 
league of nations, and that further efforts were needed to 
prepare both Germany and Russia for the general disarmament 
which alone could establish an enduring peace, they expressed 
their willingness to continue to back Wilson. 

"The difficulty," declared Grey to Marburg, "is in making 
public announcements at a time, and in a language, which will 
prevent them from being misunderstood." 42 Even Wilson 
recognized the force of the demand that he adopt a "strong 
tone" in his protest to Germany. This was absolutely necessary 
if the Entente peoples were to retain any faith in him. Nothing 
else would enable the Entente Governments to support any 
course on his part short of severance of diplomatic relations 
with Germany. It was also insisted that Marburg bring pressure 
to bear on Congress, to procure passage of a resolution 
authorizing Wilson to offer mediation, and propose the 
formation of a league of nations. The Entente Governments 
would give public assurance at the proper time of their 
cooperation. 27 *' 923 ' 103 



The "Sussex" Note. The Obregon Conference. Scott Saves 
Pershing. McCombs Tenders his Resigation. Assails Wilson 
for the violation of his "One Term" Pledge. A Crisis in the 
War. Germany Accedes to Wilson's Demand with 
Reservations. "He Kept Us Out of War." The New Shipping 

RELIEVED FROM the immediate necessity of dismissing 
Bernstorff, Wilson discarded the note to Germany which 
Lansing had already prepared. While he was drafting a 
new one, House addressed himself to his old task of trying to 
scare the Wilhelmstrasse through Bernstorff and Gerard. 7 ' 85 

Wilson's new note embodied the ideas of A. H. Pollen and 
Sir Horace Plunkett, eminent British Internationalists, of whom 
Plunkett had been courted especially by House, because of his 
great international influence upon the Irish.* 

House did not like Wilson's additions. "I objected to the last 
page of the note," he says, "as being inconclusive, and as 
opening up the entire question for more argument. ... He 
patiently urged the matter . . . but refused to admit any sort of 
weakness in it. 

"His contention was that, if he did as we advised, it would 
mean a declaration of war, and he could not declare war without 
the consent of Congress. I thought if he left it as it was, it would 
place him in a bad position, for the reason that it would give 
Germany a chance to come back with another note, asserting 
she was willing to make the concessions he demanded, provided 
Great Britain obeyed the letter of the law as well. The President 
did not agree 

* Rural Life in America, Plunkett. 


with me, but, at my suggestion, cut out the last paragraph, 
which strengthened the note somewhat. He also inserted the 
word 'immediately,' which strengthened it further. 

"I urged him to say, if Germany declined to agree im- 
mediately to cease her submarine warfare, that Ambassador 
Gerard was instructed to ask for his passports. This, I told the 
President, would come nearer preserving the peace than his 
plan, because the alternative of peace or war would be placed 
directly up to Germany in this single note, whereas the other 
wording would still leave room for argument, and, in the end, 
war would probably follow." 

From this it is obvious that House, no longer bellicose, was 
doing the bidding of the League to Enforce Peace, by actually 
counseling the course best calculated to prevent a breach with 

"We were in conference for two hours or, indeed, until the 
President had to leave for an eleven o'clock Cabinet meeting. 
He was undecided whether to read the note to the Cabinet. . . . 
He finally decided to read them the note almost in its entirety, 
but as an argument he had in his own mind against submarine 
warfare, and not as a note which he had prepared to present to 
Germany." 103 

After several days more of sparring between House and 
Bernstorff, Wilson adopted House's suggestions, and, on April 
18th, despatched the famous Sussex note. 

Following a full resume of the voluminous correspondence 
with the German Government to date, it went on to say that 
"again and again the Imperial German Government has given 
this Government its solemn assurances," and "again and again 
permitted its undersea commanders to disregard these 
assurances of Germany in sincerity and good faith," and that 
America had "hoped even against hope," that these promises 
would be kept. Nevertheless, Germany had been unable "to put 
any restraints upon its warfare," and it had become "painfully 
evident that the use of submarines for the destruction of an 
enemy's commerce, is incompatible with the principles of 
humanity, the long-established and incontrovertible rights of 
neutrals, and the sacred immunities of non-combatants." 


After thus admitting the hopelessness of his old policy, 
Wilson now completely reversed his original position that 
neutrality of thought was the moral duty of the Nation. 

"We cannot forget that we are in some sort, and by the force 
of circumstances, the responsible spokesman of the rights of 
humanity. . . . We can not remain silent while those rights seem 
in process of being utterly swept away in the maelstrom of this 
terrible war." 

Thus did Wilson publicly and irrevocably cast the die of the 
internationalistic policy to which he had long been secretly 
committed. With the aid of Marburg and House, he was 
gradually leading the "moribund" Democratic party out of the 
"wilderness" of its alleged "narrow nationalism." 

Finally the note said that "unless the Imperial German 
Government should now immediately declare and effect an 
abandonment of its present methods of submarine warfare 
against passenger and freight-carrying vessels, the Government 
of the United States can have no choice but to sever diplomatic 

According to House, he warned Bernstorff at once against 
the suggestion of a compromise, and urged that the Chancellor 
yield "handsomely and gracefully." 

Some comment on the note pointed out that, if it were now 
America's duty to speak on behalf of humanity, it had been her 
duty to do so all along. Nevertheless the note was accepted as 
satisfactory, under the influence of the general propaganda, by 
all except the advocates of war. With eminent Republicans like 
Taft, Root, Lodge, Butler, innumerable college presidents, 
bishops, priests, rabbis, editors, writers, labor leaders, and 
bankers, urging the support of the President, those who 
protested against the policy of the Administration were put 
down by the man on the street as "croakers." To this extent had 
Theodore Marburg succeeded in influencing American public 

With the Sussex note out of the way, it remained for Wilson 
to deal with the Mexicans. 

"Naturally enough," says Scott, "the Mexican Government 
was very much upset at the presence of Pershing and our troops 
in Mexico. In April, 1916, 1 was directed to go 


from Washington to San Antonio for a conference with General 
Funston, and, while still there, we were both ordered to El Paso 
to confer with General Obregon, then Secretary of War of 

Scott explained to Obregon that an attack on Pershing would 
certainly lead to war, and that this the President did not want. 
Obregon insisted that Pershing evacuate his forces, but Scott 
would not consent to this. He was merely to draw back toward 
the border. Carranza refused to sanction this arrangement, and 
forbade Pershing's further use of the railroad south of El Paso. 

"I took this matter to the State Department," wrote Scott, 
"saying that if Carranza got in my way, I would run over him, 
but was told I would not be allowed to do this. I said this was 
the only way we had to supply Pershing. Shoulders were 
shrugged, and I was told that the supply of Pershing was not the 
affair of the State Department; that that body was truly sorry to 
discommode me, but that Car-ranza's orders must be respected 
about the railroad. I was so angry at such callousness about our 
troops, four hundred miles South in Mexico, that I could hardly 
find my way back to my office, and so appalled at the inevitable 
consequences to our men, if not supplied with food and 
ammunition promptly, that I could have burned down the State 
Department with everybody in it. " 

Had the Mexicans risen against Pershing at a time when his 
food and ammunition were low, the consequences might have 
been appalling. Even the stolid old Chief of Staff, who had been 
selected to do the Administration's bidding without complaint, 
had lost patience. Without any authority, he ordered the 
Quartermaster General to purchase at once, in the open market, 
the motor trucks necessary to supply Pershing. 

When the Secretary of War returned to Washington, Scott 
said to him: "You will have to use your good offices with the 
President, Mr. Secretary, to keep me out of jail," and added that 
he wished to confess, before being caught, that he had expended 
$450,000 of public money appropriated for other purposes, 
which was a penitentiary offense. 


"Ho!" replied Baker, "that's nothing. If anybody goes to jail, 
I'll be the man — I'll go to jail for everybody." 

By thus supporting Scott, Baker won the confidence of the 
General Staff, and the War Department. 

"While Pershing was still in Mexico," goes on Sqott 
"Obregon began to talk... about taking San Antonio in two 
weeks, knowing nothing more about conditions in the North, 
than did General Weyler of the Spanish Army, who talked of 
landing at Charleston, S. C., and marching through the South, 
gathering up recruits with which to overwhelm the North, 
because the North and the South had once been at war, and the 
South would like to assist Spain in overcoming the North. But 
things were beginning to warm up again on the Mexican side. I 
advised the President to call out the militia, and put them along 
the border. He opposed this, saying that such action would only 
have the effect of provoking the Mexicans. I told him that I 
thought it would have the opposite effect. . . . But the President 
did not want to provoke the Mexicans by a show of force on the 
border, as he did not want to provoke Germany by preparation, 
which seemed to me to be a pernicious doctrine." 9 

Claiming to have the blood of the royal O'Briens of the 
Emerald Isle in his veins, Obregon was much impressed by 
Scott's firmness, and expressed surprise that the old soldier 
could be "such a good politician and yet so honest." 

Meanwhile the struggle between the military and naval 
chiefs and the civil authorities in Germany continued. The 
Socialists were determined to prevent a break with the United 
States if possible. On the other hand, the war party refused to 
yield. With each day of delay, the outcome seemed to be more 
doubtful. While all this was going on, Wilson's efforts to rid 
himself of McCombs, were finally crowned with success. 
Without regard to his merits or demerits as Chairman of the 
National Committee, it was in the interest of the Committee to 
support Wilson. Accordingly McCombs wrote Wilson, on April 
24th, that business reasons would compel him to resign at the 
coming Convention. Wilson replied, expressing his appreciation 
of Mc- 


Combs' great "sacrifices," and his regrets over the necessity of 
this action — which was, of course, mere persiflage! 

In an editorial in the New York Sun of April 26th, no doubt 
inspired by McCombs, and plainly directed against Wilson's 
renomination, the fact that Wilson and the party had pledged 
themselves unequivocally to a single term, was stressed as the 
principal reason for McCombs' action. Wilson had, indeed, 
confessed to McCombs that he was not opposed even to a third 
term. The question in McCombs' mind was, how long Wilson 
intended to remain in the White House. And he had in mind 
further questions: 

Ought not the primary system serve to affirm party 
obligations? Had it not tended to create blocs in Congress, and 
compel the president to adopt the methods of a premier, in order 
to accomplish anything? If his Congressional majority was not 
bound to carry out the party pledges, how could the Chief 
Executive be held to them? Would not the abolition of the 
primary and limitation of the President to a single longer term, 
release him from an increasingly difficult situation, preserve the 
orginal system of government, and render delegation of 
executive authority to irresponsible private citizens like House, 
inexcusable and illegal. 

Poor McCombs! Guileless as ever, he was the victim of 
forces of which he was completely ignorant. The politicians 
would probably have been glad to give Wilson a third term, to 
remain in power. Knowing this, Wilson made no answer to the 
Sun's scathing editorial. Nevertheless, without regard to 
McCombs' personality and his motives, it remains to the 
American people to consider seriously what reforms are 
necessary to insure the persistence of representative government 
in America.* 

* It is significant that, as these lines were written, 
immediately after the International Chamber of Commerce had 
put forward at its meeting in Washington (May, 1931) the old 
proposals of Marburg, and while Sir George Paish, the leading 
Internationalist of Britain, plead loudly in America in their 
behalf, House suddenly broke his silence of several years, and 
announced his return to the field of national politics. The 
question arises, were the Internationalists, looking to 1932 as 
another Democratic year, planning to place House again in the 
White House as the Silent Partner of another President? 


Wilson was now able to proceed with the transformation of 
the Democratic party without the embarrassment of a hostile 
Chairman. Ten days had passed since his despatch of the 
Sussex note, when, on the 28th, the Wilhelmstrasse cabled 
Bernstorff that the Imperial Government was anxious to avoid a 
break if possible. What was meant in Wilson's note by "illegal 
submarine warfare?" Just how far could it go? If it acceded to 
Wilson's demands, would he bring pressure upon Great Britain 
in regard to her blockade? 

Bernstorff did his best to find out from House, the least that 
would satisfy Wilson. According to House, Wilson had, until 
now, seemed so disinclined to deal firmly with Germany, that 
there seemed to be danger of his weakening. From Bernstorff s 
advances the President now deduced that the Wilhelmstrasse 
wanted to trade; from this he concluded that the extremists did 
not have the upper hand. He spoke with such feeling concerning 
Germany's responsibility for the war, seemed so bent on 
personal punishment being meted out to the guilty ones, was so 
unyielding and belligerent, that House now deemed him not 
anxious enough to avert war. 

This may have been a shrewd pose on Wilson's part in order 
to exert, through House, the maximum effect possible upon 
Bernstorff. Bernstorff now was told by House that only an 
immediate and unequivocal abandonment of unlawful acts by 
Germany, would be acceptable to Wilson. 

Nevertheless, it seems certain that House who, like Wilson, 
was exceedingly anxious for at least a nominal diplomatic 
victory over Germany before the election, did not stop with this. 
Bernstorff insists that he gathered the distinct impression from 
House that an early offer of mediation, to be followed by 
proposals not altogether unfavorable to Germany, would be 
forthcoming from Wilson, if the Imperial Government should 
comply promptly with his demands. Moreover, when Gerard 
learned, on May 1st, that the war party had finally succeeded in 
dictating a note rejecting these demands, he hastened to assure 
the Chancellor that this would prevent the early offer of 


being contemplated by Wilson. 85 ' 103 It does not seem likely that 
Gerard would have dared do this without House's cooperation. 

In the end, a compromise was reached by the contending 
factions within the Imperial Government. It might be true that 
Wilson would propose terms favorable to Germany, but no such 
terms would be accepted by the Allies. Upon their rejection by 
the latter, the German masses would be consolidated behind the 
Government. Therefore it seemed the part of wisdom to 
suspend unrestricted submarine warfare until the Flanders 
submarine flotilla was ready. So it was that the reply to Wilson, 
already drafted, was amended. The note despatched by the 
Chancellor to Bernstorff on May 4th, and delivered to Lansing 
that day, accompanied by a notice that an early offer of 
mediation was expected, bore evidence on its face of having 
been altered from a rejection to a qualified compliance. 
Stupidly brusque and ill-tempered in taking issue with 
assertions of fact in the American note, it closed with ironic 
complaint over Wilson's failure to compel Britain to modify her 
food blockade. 

It seems certain that, whether with or without Wilson's 
knowledge, House and Gerard had succeeded in wringing from 
Germany through representations upon which the Chancellor 
had depended, a reply which Wilson could accept, despite 
Lansing's objections to the German reservations. Deemed by 
Bernstorff a personal triumph over the extremists, the German 
note was immediately published amid claims by the 
Administration press of a great victory for Wilson. 

"Hurrah for Wilson! He's won out at last! And he's kept us 
out of war besides!" Such was the cry of the Democrats. So 
originated the slogan — "he kept us out of war" — that was to be 
effectively employed by them in the coming presidential 

The Pan-Germans generally, however, were not happy. 
Gerard wrote, on May 5th, that "fifty million Germans cry 
themselves asleep, because all Mexico has not risen against us." 
And several days later, he wrote that while he 


believed the Imperial Government would live up to its last 
promise for a while, at least, this was only because "the plain 
people" were weary of the war, and believed that further acts 
offensive to America would prevent mediation, and thereby 
prolong strife. Boasting of his part in saving the situation, he 
complained bitterly to House of lack of information and 
cooperation from Washington, while Bernstorff began to press 
for mediation. 

Wilson had, of course, no idea of offering mediation until 
after he had obtained the country's sanction for a league of 
nations, as Bernstorff was soon to find out. 

The shipping and commercial interests were protesting 
loudly against British practices under The Trading with the 
Enemy Act. The British Government had published a "black- 
list" of neutral firms with German affiliations, which, the Secret 
Service had shown, were continuing to trade with Germany. 
More than 1000 American exporting houses had been 
proscribed. British vessels were forbidden to accept cargoes 
from them, while neutral vessels chartered by them were denied 
bunker coal at British ports. Even Page regarded this as tactless 
and unjust. Nevertheless, despite numerous protests from 
Washington, and his own sharp discussions with the Foreign 
Office, he had been unable to alter the British course. There 
was, moreover, among Wilson's "trade advisers," a conviction, 
which all of Page's explanations had not altered, that Great 
Britain was using the blockade as a means of destroying 
American commerce, and securing America's customers for 
herself. This the "black-list" had seemed to confirm. At any 
rate, it had given both Bryan and Bernstorff fresh fuel to 

There was another side to the picture. Was America taking 
advantage of the war and her own neutrality, to insure her 
maritime supremacy on the coming of peace? Certainly the 
British were not ignorant of the economic influences bearing 
upon America's foreign policy, and the tremendous advantage 
which America, as a neutral, possessed 1 ' 5182 Moreover had Wilson 
himself not been urging with all his might and main the 
upbuilding of an 


American merchant marine, that could not fail to affect Britain's 
whole economic system? 

Whatever the respective merits and demerits of Britain's and 
America's positions may have been, the experiences of the war 
had enabled the advocates of preparedness to enlist the support 
of trade interests for a comprehensive naval program, and now 
Republicans and Democrats in Congress, were alike supporting 
it. In order to relieve Wilson from attacks by the Pacifists, and 
at the same time meet the growing demand for the upbuilding of 
the Navy, the Administration press was heralding Swanson of 
Virginia, Chairman of the Naval Affairs Committee of the 
Senate, as the proponent and champion of a "Big Navy," just as 
it had placed the responsibility on Hay for the pending National 
Defense Bill. Such was the situation when a bill with provisions 
retaliatory against the British blacklist, was introduced in 
Congress, and when, on May 8th, the Administration 
abandoned the old and unpopular Jones-Hobson Shipping Bill, 
which numerous appeals on Wilson's part had failed to carry 
through Congress, in favor of the Alexander Bill.* 

At this time, Lane, who was making great progress with his 
plan to capture the West, wrote Frank I. Cobb, Editor of the 
New York World: "Here is a memorandum that has been 
drafted respecting the leasing bill, that we are now pushing to 
have taken up by the Senate. This bill, as you know, covers oil, 
phosphate, and potash lands. . . . There are three million acres 
of phosphate lands, two and a half million acres of oil lands, 
and a small acreage of potash lands, under withdrawal now, that 
can not be developed because of lack of legislation. . . ." 114 

Lane had also been making powerful appeals to the Indians 

by urging their more general enfranchisement. But although 

Wilson had not approved this, there were thousands of Indians 

concentrated in a few Western States with small white 

populations who, under the provisions of the General Allotment 

Act of 1887, were already qualified 

* This Bill, as amended, was eventually to take the form of 
the Merchant Marine Act by which the Shipping Board was 


to vote, but had not asserted their right. Although Lane could 
not confer a right to vote upon any Indian not already qualified 
under the law, seeing the value of the Indian vote in Oklahoma, 
Arizona, New Mexico, Wyoming Montana, and the Dakotas, he 
designed a patriotic ceremony for the elevation of these 
potential voters to full citizenship, and set out in May on a tour 
of the Indian reservations. 

"Forasmuch as the President has said that I am worthy to be 
a citizen of the United States, I now promise this flag that I will 
give my hands, my head, and my heart to the doing of all that 
will make me a true American citizen." 

This was the Indian pledge in the stirring ritual by which 
Lane undertook to secure for Wilson, the political support of 
many leading Indians. 114 

Another new source of support in 1916 was the sudden and 
tremendous enthusiasm displayed by Zionist Jewry for 
Woodrow Wilson. About this there is perhaps little mystery. 
Reference to a pamphlet published in 1936 by Samuel 
Landman, Solicitor and Secretary of the Zionist organization 
during the War, purports to make quite clear the switch in 
Jewish support from the German to the Allied cause: — The 
initial bias was not simply anti-Russian, but pro-German. The 
reason was that the Zionists had expected to "close a deal" with 
Germany, for the later possession of Palestine, which they 
subsequently effected with the Allies. 

Jewish influence had much to do with Wilson's initial anti- 
Entente bias. Later, it influenced him in the opposite direction. 
The Jewish backing he enjoyed in 1916 constitutes strong 
circumstantial evidence that Wilson had subscribed, at least 
tentatively, to the British deal with the Zionists, of which more 



Marburg Assembles the Internationalists in Washington. 

Wilson, Taft, Lodge, Baker, Marburg and others address 

the League to Enforce Peace. The Adverse Effect upon 

the Allies of Wilson's Address. 

MARBURG, HOUSE, and Grey had not been deceived in 
the least by the apparent surrender of Germany. In the 
face of her real purpose, they saw that no time must be 
lost in committing Congress to a League of Nations, in order 
that an offer of mediation might be made by the President of the 
United States with the formation of such an association in view. 
This they believed might cause the "plain people" and more 
particularly the Socialists and revolutionaries of Germany, 
Austro-Hungary, and Russia, to compel their governments to 
subscribe to the general disarmament pact, upon which the 
league was to be based. Moreover, once a Democratic Congress 
had been committed to the principle of enforced peace, Wilson 
need no longer fear Bryan and the Pacifists. 

It was necessary, however, to commit the leaders of both 
national parties to the scheme, since, if both parties came out 
for it, neither candidate would be subject to the risk of the Pro- 
Germans, the Pacifists, and the out-and-out Nationalists 
consolidating against him on this score. Then, too, Bryan would 
be compelled to support the Democratic candidate, despite his 
bitter objection to a League of Nations and the principle of 
enforced peace. 

It was also especially important, in the opinion of Marburg 
and House, that Wilson be afforded an early opportunity to 
appeal to the masses of Europe, over the heads of the 
belligerent governments, and call upon them to compel 


their governments, in the name of humanity, to accept the 
principle of a League of Nations.* In making this appeal, 
Wilson could again undertake to convince the Pan-Germans 
that he was not partisan to the Entente Cause. 

Having formed the League of Nations Society in England, 
organized the Fabian Socialists behind the Internationalist 
project, and jockeyed the British and French governments into 
the support of Wilson's Sussex note, Marburg, on returning to 
the United States, set to work at once to bring about a great 
non-partisan gathering in Washington on May 26th and 27th, at 
the invitation of the League to Enforce Peace. The object of the 
assembly was to be widely published — "to devise and 
determine upon measures for giving effect to the proposals 
adopted at the Conference held in Philadelphia in June, 1915." 
All the different interests of the country, without regard to party 
affiliations, were to be called upon to send delegates. As 
drawing cards, and evidence of the non-partisan object of the 
gathering, Wilson, Taft, Baker, Lodge, Lowell, Benjamin Ide 
Wheeler, Gompers, and numerous other men of eminence were 
advertised as speakers. Thus even Gompers and Organized 
Labor were to be committed to a League of Nations. This 
having been arranged, a preliminary meeting of the League was 
set for May 12th in New York, in order to organize an effort 
that would insure a spectacular setting for Wilson and the other 
speakers, while Grey was called on to send Marburg a message, 
to be read at this meeting, pledging Britain's cooperation in the 
formation of a League of Nations. 

Having insured wide publicity for Grey's message, it was 
read by Marburg at the dinner following the meeting of the 

"Long before the war," said the Chicago Daily News next 
day, "Sir Edward Grey hoped for a League of Nations that 
would be united, quick and instant to prevent, 

* House. Letter of May 6th to Wilson. (House claims that he 
suggested that Wilson be invited. It is the one instance in which 
he refers, in his compendious work, to the League to Enforce 
Peace, and even then he refrains from mentioning Marburg by 


and, if need be, punish violations of international treaties, of 
public right, and of national independence; and would say to the 
nations that came forward with grievances and claims: 'Put 
them before an impartial tribunal; subject your claims to the test 
of law or the judgment of impartial men. If you can win at this 
bar, you will get what you want; if you can not, you shall not 
have what you want; and if you start war, we shall adjudge you 
the common enemy of humanity and treat you accordingly. As 
footpads, burglars, and incendiaries are suppressed in a com- 
munity, so those who would commit these crimes and 
incalculably more than these crimes, will be suppressed among 
the nations.' " 

Bryan, Page and Harvey looked on in silence. The "Great 
Commoner" had been silenced, but Lansing stepped into the 
breach with a letter to Wilson, on the 25th, setting forth his 
objections, on principle, to the general plan of the League to 
Enforce Peace. In his judgment, as in that of Bryan, Page, and 
Harvey, its purpose, whatever the form proposed, was 
incompatible with the Monroe doctrine. 

Marburg and his aids achieved an amazing success. As a 
result of their efforts and propaganda, more than two thousand 
delegates, representing every walk of life, from every State in 
the Union, and from Alaska, Hawaii, and Porto Rico, had 
registered their attendance, two days before the date appointed, 
while others were coming in on every train. The hall which had 
been engaged by the Committee on Arrangements had to be 
hastily abandoned for the larger auditorium of the Belasco 
Theatre. Hundreds of applications for tickets to the closing 
dinner at which Wilson was to speak, had to be rejected. By this 
time Lansing had little or no influence with Wilson. Seeing the 
great opportunity presented him to speak to both America and 
Europe through this unprecedented audience, Wilson did not 
even answer the protest of his Secretary of State. 115 

As President of the League, Taft presided at all sessions, 
though he was obliged to absent himself from part of the first 
two. A number of the honorary vice-presidents, other 


officers, and committeemen occupied seats on the stage, while 
the auditorium was packed with delegates. 

The program had been very carefully worked out, to cover 
all phases of the League's proposals, and the subjects assigned 
to speakers of national prominence best qualified to deal with 
them. "The Platform," "Practicability of the League Program," 
and "Plans for Giving Effect to the League Program," 
comprised the three general subjects. One session was set apart 
for questions and discussions by delegates, while the addresses 
at the closing dinner dealt with the broader aspects of the 

Among those who spoke or read papers during the sessions 
were William Howard Taft, Thomas Raeburn White, Edward 
A. Filene, Hamilton Holt, George Grafton Wilson, Talcott 
Williams, John Bates Clark, K. C. Rhett, H. A. Wheeler, 
Samuel Gompers, Carl Vrooman, Newton D. Baker, Philip H. 
Gadsden, J. Mott Hallowell, Herbert S. Houston, William H. 
Wadhams, Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Shailer Mathews, 
Franklin H. Giddings, A. Lawrence Lowell, Benjamin Ide 
Wheeler, Frank S. Streeter, and Nehemiah Boynton. Marburg 
himself presented fully the plan of the League. 

"To Theodore Marburg, as an envoy of the American 
Branch of the League to Enforce Peace," said Edward A. Filene, 
President of William Filene's Sons Co., of Boston, and Director 
of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States, "there has 
been given by letter and by word of mouth, assurance of the 
unqualified support of the proposal by such statesmen as Sir 
Edward Grey, Lord Bryce, Premier Asquith, and others." 

A storm of applause shook the building when Marburg 
arose. "We have," he said, "the whole-hearted endorsement of 
the principles of the League to Enforce Peace by President 
Wilson, by Senator Root, by the Secretary of War, Newton D. 
Baker, and by a host of eminent Americans. If now we can add 
to this support of private individuals and officials, a resolution 
of the Congress of the United States, favoring the principle, we 
could then ask Mr. Taft to go abroad as the representative of 
this unofficial 


body, and endeavor to secure the adherence of foreign powers. 
You will recall the fact that the Congress of Vienna did only so 
much as it was obliged to do by the preliminary Treaty of Paris. 
And, unless we get the Powers committed now, there is grave 
danger that, when the war is over, we will find it difficult to get 
a hearing. On the other hand, if they do so commit themselves 
now, the various governments can proceed at once to a study of 
the project, and the envoys who meet to frame a treaty of peace, 
will come not only with a matured plan, but with positive 
instructions to reach an agreement if possible." 

It is one of the seeming anomalies of American history that 
while William Jennings Bryan, Walter Hines Page, George 
Harvey, and Theodore Roosevelt were opposing a league of 
nations, Woodrow Wilson, William Howard Taft, Elihu Root, 
Henry Cabot Lodge, and Alton B. Parker should be advocating 
its formation. Yet the explanation is simple. In the first place, as 
the proposed international association had yet taken no definite 
political form, Root, Lodge, and Parker had no idea of 
abandoning American principles. 

"To apply the principle of cooperation, based on altruism, to 
the Society of Nations, as it has already been applied within the 
state, is the aim and purpose of the League to Enforce Peace," 
said Marburg at this time. "Its platform lacks details and 
elaboration; it does not lack definition, nor has there been lack 
of study and public discussion of its possible workings. We 
have to overcome the initial difficulty of getting the powers to 
agree to any plan. Therefore the simplicity of this one. It is felt 
that if the nations can be induced to subscribe to its 
fundamental principles, the envoys charged with the duty of 
perfecting the plan, will be equal to all questions of detail, 
program, or organization. The plan contemplates 'not a league 
of some states against others, but a union of as many as possible 
in their common interest.' The central idea of the League is that 
wars are the result of the condition of international anarchy out 
of which the world has never yet risen; that they will 


not cease until justice prevails, and that justice can not triumph 
until the world organizes for justice." 

No one, of course, could object to the general principle 
here laid down. It was that principle, and not the ulterior 
objects of Wilson, Marburg, and the Internationalists, which 
Root, Lodge, Eliot, Beck, and others believed they were 
supporting through the League to Enforce Peace. 41 Lodge's own 
address on this occasion, in which he expressly declared that 
the League had no desire to interfere in the present war, or in 
the affairs of Europe after the war, indicates such an attitude. 

Many of the speeches at the great gathering staged by 
Marburg, though cloaked in altruistic expressions, plainly 
reflected the ideals of international finance. In them, may be 
found almost every idea expressed by Wilson in the long series 
of state papers and addresses which he had given to the world 
since Marburg's return from Belgium in 1913. Throughout, 
there appeared the natural interest which businessmen and 
bankers had in peace, and its influence upon the stabilization of 

"By common consent," said Charles Frederick Carter, 
speaking of the concluding banquet, "the list of addresses at 
this dinner was conceded to be one of the best ever heard at a 
public dinner in Washington. 

"President Wilson's address in particular, which was read 
with profound interest throughout the world, was a notable 
utterance. It was the formulation of a new and nobler 
conception of world statesmanship — a Declaration of Human 
Rights destined to live in history." 4 

The President played his part with consummate skill. After 
pointing out how profoundly the war had affected America, he 
repeated what he had often said before — "with the causes and 
objects of the war, this country is not concerned." With a 
strange absence of logic, he then went on to say that the 
American people "were not mere disconnected lookers-on. " 

"The longer the war lasts, the more deeply we become 
concerned that it should be brought to an end, and the world be 
permitted to resume its normal life again." 


"And when it does come to an end," he continued, "we shall 
be as much concerned as the nations at war, to see peace 
assume some aspect of permanence; . . . give some assurance 
that peace and war shall always, hereafter, be reckoned part of 
the common interest of mankind. We are participants, whether 
we would or not, in the life of the world. The interests of all 
nations are our own also. We are partners with the rest. What 
affects mankind is inevitably our affair, as well as the affair of 
the Nations of Europe and of Asia." 

Wilson continued that, if before the resort of the belligerents 
to war in 1914, a powerful influence could have been exerted 
by the United States, because both sides would have had regard 
for "our moral and economic strength," and even "our physical 
strength." The lesson of the war was, then, that "only when the 
great nations of the world have reached some sort of agreement 
as to what they hold to be fundamental to their common 
interest, and as to some feasible method of acting in concert, 
when a nation or group of nations seeks to disturb those 
fundamental things, can we feel that civilization is at last in a 
way of justifying its existence, and claiming to be finally 

Nor did Wilson hesitate to declare that he was sure he spoke 
"the mind and wish of the people of America," when he said 
that the United States was "willing to become a partner in any 
feasible association of nations, formed in order to realize these 
objects, and make them secure against violation"; that we 
Americans were willing "to limit" ourselves "along with them 
to a prescribed course of duty and respect for the rights of 
others, which will check any selfish passion of our own, as it 
will check any aggressive impulse of theirs." * 

As Bernstorff had been resorting to every known diplomatic 
artifice to obtain an offer of mediation from Wilson, and the 
Wiihelmstrasse had been continually complaining of Wilson's 
partiality, it seems certain that the trade dis- 

* At Arlington, three days later, Wilson elaborated his ideas, 
and at the same time declared: "America is the champion of 


pute with Great Britain and Bernstorff together, had exerted a 
strong influence on Wilson. 

"In this speech," says Bernstorff, "Mr. Wilson made public, 
for the first time, his plan for the League of Nations. ... It 
displayed all the characteristics of his oratory; brilliant 
command of the English language, dazzling wealth of 
vocabulary, and nebulous sentence construction which made the 
purpose clear only to the initiated. Nevertheless, the vital points 
of the speech could not be misunderstood. It prepared the world 
for American mediation by strong emphasis of the league of 
nations idea. " 27 And in his report to the Wilhelmstrasse on the 
League speech, Bernstorff said that House had assured him the 
"peace vote" was growing. "No one who has been here any 
length of time can help coming to the conclusion that peaceful 
money-making is America's chief interest in life." Only when 
that was interrupted, he declared, was there danger. 

But although the speech pleased Bernstorff by reason of the 
assurances to Germany which he construed it to contain, it did 
not please the Entente Governments. Again Wilson had, in the 
effort to overcome the impression in Germany that he was 
partisan to the Entente Cause, used unfortunate terms. 

"Unquestionably," wrote Sir Horace Plunkett on June 7th, 
"the misunderstanding of the President's Peace League speech 
has done immense harm to the popular feeling in England. ... I 
took the words 'with its causes and objects we are not 
concerned,' to mean that the United States had absolutely no 
part or responsibility in the outbreak of the war, that the 
immediate issues were restricted to the international relations in 
Europe, and that, whatever objects were sought by the 
belligerents, whether in Europe, in Asia or in Africa, were 
equally no concern to your country. On the other hand, 
principles which vitally concerned the whole of Western 
civilization were at stake, and the neutral rights which had been 
prejudiced were largely American. All this, of course, is 
perfectly true, but you can not prevent people, in these stirring 
times, seizing upon some 


sentence — the shorter the better, because the easier remem- 
bered — and putting their own interpretation upon it." 

Nor was Grey pleased. "I read the speech in the light of my 
talks with you, and welcomed it," he wrote House. But even he 
was, like House, impatient with an ill-chosen rhetoric, which 
gave rise to the more or less general impression among the 
Allies, that Wilson was placing France and England on the 
same plane as Germany. They felt that if Wilson did not know 
that the Kaiser started the war, and that they were fighting to 
protect the rights of small nations, he ought not to make 
speeches. Bernstorff, they insisted, had fooled him, and the 
speech was merely a lever to start a German peace drive. 

Page was openly bitter. "The President's peace speech 
before the League for the Enforcement of Peace has created 
confusion. Some things in it were so admirably said that the 
British see that he does understand, and some things in it seem 
to them to imply that he doesn't in the least understand the war, 
and show, as they think, that he was speaking only to the gallery 
filled with peace cranks . . . They are therefore skittish about the 
President . . . They can't quite see what he is driving at. Hence 
they say, as you will observe from the enclosed clippings, that 
he is merely playing politics. To that extent, therefore, the 
waters are somewhat muddy again. The peace racket doesn't 
assuage anybody; it raises doubts and fears — fears that we won't 
understand the war at all. The confounded flurry gets worse. 
There is just now more talk in London about the American (and 
the President's) 'inability to understand the war,' and about our 
falling into the German peace-talk trap, than there is about the 
war itself. The President's sentence about our not being 
concerned with the objects of the war, is another 'too-proud-to- 
fight,' as the English view it. I have moods in which I lose my 
patience with them, and I have to put on two muzzles and a 
tight corset to hold myself in. But peace-talk doesn't go down 
here now, and the less we indulge in it, the better. The German 
peace-talk game has made the very word offensive to 
Englishmen. Then, too, they get more and more on 


edge as the strain becomes severer. There'll soon be very few 
sane people left in the world. " 

As for the German Government, it was not deceived in the 
least. Knowing the temper of the Allies, the Wilhelm-strasse 
said, in reply to Bernstorffs report, that Wilson's proposals 
were not likely to be accepted in England, and that, in 
Germany, mediation by "a statesman so partial to England, and 
at the same time so naive as President Wilson," was not 
favored. If the British by any chance should show a tendency to 
accept mediation, Bernstorff was to prevent an offer by Wilson, 
if possible, so as to safeguard Germany against being put in the 

Wilson had again failed to take full advantage of the great 
opportunity with which Marburg had presented him. He may 
have advanced the cause of a league of nations in America, but 
overlooking the psychology of Europe, he had not helped it 
there. It is certain that the bitter criticism which the speech 
brought down upon him from the Allies, tended to estrange him 
from their cause. As he saw it, they were utterly unreasonable. 
He felt that they should recognize, like Grey, that he could not 
draw Germany and Russia into a disarmament pact for the 
common good of humanity, unless he assumed an impartial 
attitude, no matter what his personal convictions as to the right 
or wrong of the several belligerents might be. 



Wilson Aggrieved by the Tongue of Scandal. The National 
Defense Act of June 3, 1916. Pershing Recalled. Wilson 
Writes His Own Platform. "To Hell With the Platform — He 
Kept Us Out of War." Wilson and Hughes Nominated. 
McCombs Replaced as Party Chairman by McCormick. 

ALTHOUGH WILSON was undoubtedly one of the most adroit 
politicians of his age, perhaps the most skillful party leader who 
had ever occupied the White House, he had not learned the 
"give and take" of "the game." As the national conventions 
approached, he winced under the bitter attacks made on him 
personally, as well as on his Administration. Cleveland's 
characterization of him as "intellectually dishonest," his alleged 
betrayals of Senator Smith, the New Jersey bosses, Harvey, and 
McCombs; Watterson's terrible castigations of him, and various 
personal matters were dug up by his political opponents. It was 
openly charged that a group of White House intimates were 
profiting enormously on the stock market through advance 

"I had a talk with the President the other day which was 
very touching," wrote Lane at this time. "He made reference to 
the infamous stories that are being circulated regarding him, 
with such indignation and pathos that I felt really very sorry for 
him. I suppose that these stories will be believed by some, and 
made the basis of a very nasty kind of campaign. But there is no 
truth in them, and yet a man can't deny them. It is a strange 
thing that when a man is not liable to any other charge, they 
trump up some story about a woman. ..." 114 

All the changes were being rung on "neutrality of 


thought," "America First," "Too Proud to Fight," "Strict 
Accountability," "He Kept Us Out of War," and similar 
expressions on his part. Inasmuch as this was being done by 
Wilson's opponents, the pro-Germans were convinced that the 
Republican party was bent upon intervention, on behalf of the 
Allies, while it served to estrange both Wilson and the West 
from the Entente cause. Bernstorff, of course, took full 
advantage of this. The pro-German press began to defend 
Wilson against British and French criticism. 

The Progressive and Republican Conventions had been 
called to assemble in Chicago on June 5th and 7th, respectively, 
and the Democratic Convention in St. Louis on June 14th. The 
Progressive leaders planned to nominate Roosevelt first, in the 
hope of forcing the Republicans to accept him. 

General Scott's conference with Obregon had produced only 
a temporary stay of hostile Mexican operations against the 
United States. Throughout May, there were constant skirmishes 
between Pershing's column and Mexican raiders along the 
border. The question of the national defense was, therefore, of 
the utmost importance, without regard to the European war. The 
Democratic border states were demanding more adequate 
protection, while the Republicans and Progressives were likely 
to unite upon a "preparedness platform." Against this 
contingency, Wilson had endorsed the "Hay Bill," or the 
minimum measure which it was thought might satisfy the 
country, and it had won for him much organized support among 
the Militia, whom the Administration had championed against 
Garrison and the General Staff. Everywhere among military 
men, it was recognized as a "militia bill." Recognizing the 
political expediency of forcing its passage before the national 
conventions assembled, the spurs were applied to Congress, 
and, on June 3, 1916, it passed the so-called National Defense 
Act. Wood was authorized, at the same time, to reopen the 
Plattsburg Camp. 

The public could not, of course, discern the defects of this 
wholly inadequate measure. Providing for the gradual increase 
of the regular army to a strength of 175,000 men 


of all arms, a regular reserve, and an Officers' Reserve Corps, 
with a maximum war strength for the entire regular 
establishment of 287,846, it authorized the federalization, in an 
emergency, of about 425,000 state troops. Provision was also 
made for the enlargement of the National Academies, for 


training camps, and for vocational training for the army. 
Although the Act was, in the opinion of Wood and the General 
Staff, wholly inadequate as well as reactionary in many 
respects, it was heralded by the Administration as evidence that 
Wilson was the champion of "preparedness." Thus adroitly did 
Wilson undertake to silence his opponents on this issue. 

Like Butler and the Internationalists, some of the original 
Simon-Pure Progressives had disapproved of the coincidence of 
the Republican and Progressive Conventions. As the delegates 
gathered in Chicago for the two conventions, and the boom for 
Wood began to gain impetus, it became apparent that Charles 
Evans Hughes was the candidate of Taft, Marburg and Butler, 
as well as the conservative Republicans, who had never 
forgiven Roosevelt, and regarded Wood as his spokesman. The 
politicians, however, did not like Hughes, so that more and 
more men, high in the councils of the party, began to consider 
Wood seriously. 

"Went to Oyster Bay in p.m. by motor," wrote Wood in his 
diary, "while the committee was in session. Long talk with the 
Colonel. His views unchanged and purposes to do what he can." 
. . . "The Colonel has urged harmony and union of two forces. 
He will reply forcibly to any request for information as to his 
attitude on my speech; anything which will give R. a chance 
will bring his endorsement. " 

From this, it is obvious what Roosevelt was trying to do. By 
threatening the Republican party with a division, he was merely 
seeking to name a Nationalist candidate, and one who would 
arm the country, with the reunited Republican party behind him. 

Unfortunately for the Republican party, Nicholas Murray 
Butler, the personal friend of Hughes, was now 


asserting his full influence as President of the American Peace 
Society, in the Councils of the Republican party, and was, like 
Taft and Marburg, determined to prevent the nomination of 
either Roosevelt or Wood at any cost. Throughout the night, the 
Republican and Progressive representatives wrangled with each 
other. In vain the latter insisted that Roosevelt must have his 
way, or the country face another three-cornered fight. The 
Internationalists had learned nothing from 1912. Thus, with a 
Republican victory almost assured, the more astute Republican 
leaders finally saw that it was useless to oppose Roosevelt 

"We will take any man the Colonel will name," "Joe" 
Cannon said to Gutzon Borglum, who was working for Wood, 
"provided the Colonel will go with the man." 

Shortly before two o'clock on Saturday morning, Butler 
called Roosevelt on the telephone. 

Butler — "The Joint conference committee is locked up tight, 
and we can not make them move. A stampede is expected at 
any moment, and no one knows what will happen. The joint 
conference is waiting to hear from you, and you simply must 
announce your candidate. " 

Roosevelt — "As I have told you from the beginning, I refuse 
to name a candidate." 

Butler — "But you must name a candidate, and one whom 
you will support absolutely and entirely." 

Roosevelt — "I will not name a candidate." 

Butler — "Then you must name some one to whom you will 
give your entire and energetic support." 

Roosevelt — "I think Leonard Wood is the best possible man 
you could select. Wood is sound, shrewd, and very diplomatic. 
I am sure he would support all the policies which I favor, and I 
believe would be acceptable to the people." 

Butler — "But we will not nominate a soldier." 

Roosevelt— "Then that's all." 

The "we" that Butler used in this conversation did not mean 
old line Republicans like Cannon, but the Internationalists. 
Roosevelt subsequently declared that Butler called him up 
again, and asked whether he would support 


Henry Cabot Lodge. He had hesitated, he said, hardly knowing 
what to say. Lodge was his lifelong friend. He had the greatest 
respect for his ability, but he knew that Lodge had no chance. 

"Yes, but — ," said Butler, and, according to Roosevelt, did 
not wait to hear his objection. Instead he hung up the receiver 
and informed the joint conference committee that Roosevelt 
suggested Lodge as the compromise candidate, nor did he say 
that Roosevelt had first named Wood. 

A telegram to Roosevelt brought no response. The fact was 
that having named one President, with dire results, he was 
reluctant to insist too strongly upon one whom Butler had 
already declared the Republicans would not support. 

Whether the Republicans would have accepted Wood had 
Roosevelt's choice been stated by Butler to the committee, must 
ever remain problematical, even in the face of Cannon's 
statement. Nevertheless, it is plain that Butler had no intention 
of risking the result. Nor is there any doubt that he and the 
Internationalists were responsible for what followed. To break 
the deadlock among the conferees, Roosevelt, having failed to 
bring about the nomination of Wood, and seeing that Wood's 
nomination by the Progressives would only insure a split, 
allowed himself to be nominated, on the theory that the 
Republicans might, with certain defeat staring them in the face, 
give in after all. 

It soon became plain, however, that the Republicans would 
not take him back. Butler succeeded in convincing the 
"Machine" that Roosevelt had so antagonized the Pacifists and 
all the anti-American votes, that he might not be a winning 
candidate. Accordingly, looking for a candidate to please 
everybody, and yet have enough personal strength to be a 
leader, they allowed Butler and the Internationalists to have 
their way, and nominate Charles Evans Hughes, former 
Governor of New York State. A few days later, Roosevelt, with 
the highest patriotism, publicly announced that he would not 
accept the Progressive nomination, but would support Justice 
Hughes, because he re- 


garded the defeat of Wilson as "the most vital object before the 
American people." 

Hughes' platform declared that the times were dangerous, 
and the future fraught with perils. "The great issue of the day 
has been confused by words and phrases." There was nothing 
affirmative in the Republican platform; it was a miserable 
straddle reflecting the varying views that had dictated it. 

The nomination of Wilson was inevitable. With the recall of 
Pershing from Mexico, Bryan and his following in the Middle 
West were well satisfied. The South, with its tremendous 
representation in the Administration, could be counted on to 
support the party nominee as usual. Still the Southern people 
generally were in that state of intellectual vassalage in which 
they would, as the Tammany leaders declared, "vote for 
Abraham Lincoln on the Democratic ticket." As a political 
problem, they were "out of the picture," being in the hands of 
"peanut politicians," whose one idea was to keep alive the racial 
and sectional issues which insured their control. 

Although Wilson had of late lambasted the pro-Germans, 
they had much less to fear from him than from a Republican, 
who could only be elected as a result of a change of sentiment 
toward Wilson's policy. They may have hated Wilson and 
deemed him the enemy of Germany, but he was the lesser of 
two evils. They felt that with his return to power, they would 
know exactly what to expect — "peace at any price" — "watchful 

The country had prospered handsomely in a commercial 
way, since the development of its munition industries. 
Threatened in 1913 and the early part of 1914 with the usual 
slump under a Democratic Administration, it had enjoyed a 
veritable boom period by reason of the unprecedented demands 
of the Allies for foodstuffs, all manner of supplies, and arms 
and munitions. It would not be difficult for the Administration 
to claim the credit for this prosperity, however artificial and 
questionable the Republicans might declare it to be. The latter 
would have to deal with mere theories. Here were real tangible 
benefits, which 


were the direct results of the Administration's neutral policy. So 
long as trade with the Allies was sanctioned by the 
Government, it was expecting too much of the commercial 
interests to show any tender regard for the moralities of a 
situation that would continue, if maintained, to yield them 
steady profits. Human nature being what it is, the politicians 
might rely on powerful support for Wilson. 

On the other hand, Wilson had been shrewd in committing 
himself to the League to Enforce Peace. The organized 
propaganda of the great peace foundations would be worth 
countless votes to him. Think of a presidential candidate 
starting off with The American Peace Society and the World 
Peace League, to say nothing of all the other pacifist 
organizations behind him, as well as the pro-Germans! 

"President Wilson's first term," says McCombs, "had been 
saved by the declaration of the European War in 1914. This was 
pretty generally conceded among all the Democrats. Of course, 
the minds of the American people were centered upon one 
question: namely, keeping out of the terrible conflagration. 
They thought that Wilson, having been President for one term, 
should be reelected for the second. " 

As soon as Hughes was nominated, Wilson set about writing 
the platform on which he proposed to stand for reelection. 

"I see by the papers," Lane wrote him on June 8th, "that you 
are writing the platform. Now I want to take the liberty of 
saying that this is not altogether good news to me. Our Platform 
should contain such an appreciation of you and your 
administration, that you could not write it, much less have it 
known that you have written it. It should be one long joyful 
shout of exultation over the achievements of the 
Administration, and I can't quite see you leading the shout. 

"The Republican party was for half a century a constructive 
party, and the Democratic party was the party of negation and 
complaint. We have taken the play from them. The Democratic 
party has become the party of con- 


struction. You have outlined new policies and put them into 
effect through every department, from State to Labor. 
Therefore, our platform should be generously filled with words 
of boasting that will hearten and make proud the Democrats of 
the country; a plain tale of large things simply done. 

"If there is any truth at all in the newspaper statement, and 
any purpose in making it, perhaps the end that is desired might 
be reached by a statement that you are not undertaking to write 
the platform, but that, at the request of some of the leaders, you 
are giving them a concrete statement of your foreign policy." 114 

Wilson did not propose to entrust the task he had assumed to 
any one else, or even to share it with others. He was fully 
prepared when the Convention assembled to dictate his desires. 

"Everybody at the Convention," says McCombs, "was 

saying, 'Wilson kept us out of war! To h 1 with the rest 

of the platform.' " 

Nevertheless, the very definite platform written by Wilson 
was adopted. It endorsed the Administration, the Underwood 
tariff, and the non-partisan Tariff Commission. 

In denouncing foreign intrigues in the United States, Wilson 
was particularly adroit. Convinced that, much as they really 
disliked him, Bernstorff and the pro-Germans would support 
him, because they believed the Republicans intended 
intervention, which he would never sanction, the platform took 
advantage of the Republican straddle: "Whoever, actuated by 
the purpose to promote the interest of a foreign power, in 
disregard of our own country's welfare, or to injure this 
Government in its foreign relations, or cripple or destroy its 
industries at home ... is faithless to the trust which the privileges 
of citizenship repose in him, and is disloyal to his country." . . . 
And in his speech of acceptance, he said: "I neither seek the 
favor nor fear the displeasure of the small alien element 
amongst us, which puts loyalty to any foreign Power before 
loyalty to the United States." 

This, of course, pleased the Hundred Percent Ameri- 


cans greatly, and, by creating the impression of a grave internal 
danger, could not fail to relieve Wilson, in some measure, from 
the hostility of the Pacifists. Thus, he was free to insert a plank 
advocating an army adequate for order, safety, and defense, and 
an adequate citizens' reserve. The platform further declared for 
the self-determination of small nations, the Monroe Doctrine, 
Pan-Americanism, against intervention in Mexico, and 
advocated the formation of a League of Nations in the 
following language: "The world has a right to be free from 
every disturbance of its peace that has its origin in aggression 
or disregard of the rights of peoples and nations; and we believe 
the time has come when it is the duty of the United States to 
join with other nations of the world in any feasible association 
that will effectively serve these principles. ..." 

This language committed the party to nothing which every 
reasonable man could not approve. What was a "feasible" 
association was a matter of individual opinion. 

The Shipping Bill was endorsed, and also "the extension of 
the franchise to women, state by state, on the same terms as to 
the men." As to general internal policies, the same ground was 
taken as in 1908 and 1912. Nothing was said about limiting the 
presidency to a single term. 

Wilson was promptly nominated by acclamation, just as it 
had long been foreseen he would be. His speech of acceptance 
was cited by his enemies as evidence of his alleged duplicity. In 
it, he declared that the United States had remained neutral 
"because it was the fixed and traditional policy of the United 
States to stand aloof from the politics of Europe." Almost in the 
next breath he urged that it prepare itself for "the anxious and 
difficult days of restoration and healing which were to come, 
days when, with its great resources, it must help to build up the 
new house of peace." 

"America must contribute the full force of our enthusiasm 
and our authority as a nation, to the organization of that peace 
upon world-wide foundations that can not easily be shaken . . . 
The nations of the world must unite in joint guarantees." 


Little did those who heard these words, imagine that he 
was appealing to the country to ratify a policy to which, as its 
Chief Executive, he had already secretly committed it, in so far 
as that was possible. 

He had, at last, succeeded in his purpose. He had trans- 
formed the Democratic party from the highly nationalistic 
model of Jefferson, into the Internationalist party which had 
been the avowed ideal of Edwin M. House. It only remained 
for the Internationalists to capture Congress, in order to 
revolutionize American foreign policy. 

Silenced by the influences which induced his resignation, 
McCombs said nothing at the Convention about Wilson's 
abandonment of party principle. Before yielding his post as 
Chairman, he was, however, to strike one more blow at Wilson. 

It was generally kn